Are you traveling out of your network coverage area? With a satellite phone, you can keep in touch with friends, family, and emergency services.
So, you don’t have to worry about being on your own when mountain climbing, sailing at sea, or going off-grid.
Even though the cost of these phones is now more affordable, some people still cannot afford them. Luckily, you can get a free satellite phone from the organizations offering them.
This article discusses the five best free satellite phones and how to get them. It can help you know how to get connected for free.
Are Free Satellite Phones Free
Yes, free satellite phones are free. In most cases, you get a free handset from a satellite phone provider. However, you have to sign up for a monthly service plan and pay access and activation fees.
Mostly, the package includes a free handset, phone case, and a local phone number. You can use the phone to make and receive calls both locally and internationally.
The 5 Best Free Satellite Phones
Many satellite phones are on the market today, but only a few are free. Here are the five best free or affordable satellite phones:
1. Iridium Extreme with a 100-Minute Plan
The Iridium Extreme comes free of charge with a 100-minute plan. It is a feature-full phone that makes it possible for you to connect and stay in touch wherever you are.
If you ever find yourself in an emergency or get lost in the mountains, all you have to do is press the one-touch SOS button. The phone will send a distress call with your location’s GPS coordinates.
Instead of the $1,400 value of the device, you only pay $179.99 per month for airtime and a $50 activation fee. But for the first two months of service, you only pay $409.98, which is inclusive of the activation fee.
Besides the handset, you also get the Iridium Extreme Case valued at $45 and a local phone number worth $10. The free satellite phone provides reliable two-way coverage from anywhere globally.
Here are some of the features of the Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone:
- Rugged Design: Its military-grade rugged design makes jet water and shock-resistant, and dustproof. So, you can use it in extreme conditions without spoiling it.
- Reliable Audio: Whether you use the usual earpiece or speakerphone, you can still get reliable audio quality. Besides, the microphone is wind-resistant.
- Ergonomic Design: It has a tapered, diamond tread grip that’s comfortable to hold in your hands.
- Long-Lasting Battery: You can carry this phone to an off-grid location and never worry about the battery running out. A fully-charged battery provides 30 hours of standby time and 4 hours of talk time.
- Other Features: It has a military-grade ruggedness rating of MIL-STD 810F and an Ingress Protection of IP65. Furthermore, it is certified by the Search and Rescue Regulating Body (RTCM) as S.E.N.D.
2. Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite Phone
You can get the Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite Phone from Remote Satellite free of charge if you sign up for the annual Galaxy or monthly Orbit service plan.
The GSP-1700 is one of the lightest and smallest satellite phones on the market today. Therefore, it is very convenient to carry with you wherever you go without putting in a case. All you need is to put it in a shirt pocket like any other feature phone.
But its small size doesn’t compromise the quality of the service in any way. It is one of the few satellite phones with crystal-clear voice and data speeds of 9.6 Kbps data speed. Therefore, you can receive your emails and other documents in a flash.
The free satellite phone can help you communicate virtually anywhere across the globe. Once you sign up for the free phone, you get a free US number for an affordable connection with your contacts from home.
Here are some of the features that make the Globalstar GSP-1700 one of the best satellite phones:
- Vivid Display: It has an LCD 12-character, 4-line color display through which you can view contact details and incoming calls. Plus, you can see the battery, signal, and volume strength indicators right there on the screen.
- Memory: The memory can accommodate 99 entries in the address book. A call log also retains all dialed, received, and missed calls.
- Battery Strength: The Globalstar GSP-1700 had a 2600mAh, 3.7V battery that lasts for 36 hours on standby and 4 hours of talk time. You don’t have to worry about the battery going out in the wilderness.
- Calling Features: Your text, voice, and numeric messages get stored in the mailbox for retrieval at a later date. Besides, the side volume keys, the phone comes with a 2.8mm headset connector for hands-free calling.
- Other Features: It has a minute alert that gives you the power to manage costs. With the security code lock and keypad lock, your phone is completely secure.
3. Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 Satellite Phone
The Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 is not entirely free but is available at $519. It is one of the best satellite phones in terms of voice communications. So, instead of getting an unreliable free satellite phone, you are better off with this device.
If you buy an annual service contract, you can get this phone for free. It comes with 70 minutes of talk time for $60 per month. You may either use your full 70 minutes or roll over the unused time to the next month by paying an extra $5.
It comes with a dedicated SOS button that can send a one-touch emergency notification to the Texas GEOS Dispatch Center. So, you can be sure of getting help within no time.
Besides making and receiving calls, you can use the phone to send emails and text messages. Despite its compact size, the phone has a long battery life with 160 hours on standby and 8 minutes of talk time.
The following are the impressive features that define this particular phone:
- Weather Resistant: The free satellite phone can work in any weather conditions, including dust storms, rain storms, sub-zero temperatures, and searing heat. So, you can carry it with you virtually anywhere.
- Long-Lasting Battery: It has a long-lasting battery, which lasts for 160 hours on standby or 8 hours of talk-time. No matter how long you stay out there, your phone will be usable for a long time.
- Clear Voice Calls: Regardless of your location, the phone provides clear voice communication, making it possible for you to hear and be heard by others. No wonder journalists, government agencies, and the military love it.
- Great Use Interface: The tactile buttons make the keypad easy to use. Plus, it has a large color display and an intuitive navigation menu that doesn’t require training or prior initiation.
- Other Features: Furthermore, the phone provides reliable GPS and SMS services. So, you can use it to retrace your steps when you veer off course.
4. Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone
The Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone is available at $799 on select deals. However, when sold at full price, the phone starts at $1,500. So, you may not get it as a free satellite phone, but the premium price is worth it.
It provides extensive coverage in many locations across the world, making it possible for you to stay in touch with your friends and family. You could be in the Amazon Basin but still communicate with your loved ones.
Once you get the phone, you will sign up for 90 minutes of talk time for a monthly fee of $89. With that, you get to enjoy crystal-clear communication no matter your location. And you don’t have to be in a direct line from a satellite. You can still get a signal even in the deepest valleys and canyons.
It features a rugged design that makes it possible to withstand harsh conditions anywhere in the world. Therefore, the phone is water, dust, and heat resistant.
Here is an outline of the features that define this particular satellite phone:
- Extended Battery Life: The phone has an amazing battery life that provides 30 hours of standby time and 4 hours of talk time. So, you don’t have to worry about recharging your phone often.
- Great Audio Quality: With this phone, you can either listen to your calls via the headset or speakerphone. Regardless of your preferred listening method, you’ll always get excellent audio quality.
- Mini-USB Data Port: It comes with a mini-USB data port to help you transfer files to and from the phone. Besides, you can use a USB cable to tether your phone to internet connectivity on a laptop.
- Compact Design: The phone features a compact design for easy holding in your hands. Thanks to the foldable antenna, you can make its size manageable for keeping in your pocket.
- Other Features: Its address book is both internal and SIM-based, enabling you to pick one. Besides, you can select the alert and ring tones. Finally, you can secure the phone with a PIN or keypad lock.
5. Thuraya XT-LITE Satellite Phone
Even though not necessarily available as a free phone, the Thuraya XT-LITE is one of the most affordable satellite phones on the market today. You can use it for both satellite and GSM voice calling depending on your location.
It is great for sending messages and receiving and making calls from anywhere in the world. You can use it while climbing a mountain, crossing the desert, or sailing at sea. Once you come back home, you can use the GSM feature.
The Thuraya XT-LITE Satellite Phone comes with an advanced omnidirectional antenna to give you uninterrupted communication when walking and talking. So, you can use it to make on-the-go calls without a hassle.
It has 2G internet capability, which makes it possible to send basic emails. Besides, it has a durable battery that provides a standby time of up to 80 hours and six hours of talk time. So, you can wander off-grid without worrying about the battery running out.
Here are the phone’s most impressive features:
- Durable Battery Life: Regardless of how long you intend to stay in your location, the battery life is likely to be adequate. With up to 80 hours on standby and six hours of talk time, this phone’s battery is durable enough.
- Omni-Directional Antenna: Its antenna is capable of picking signals from any direction. Therefore, you can keep talking to your friends and family on the go and uninterrupted. Once you step away from the reach of a GSM network, you can keep using it.
- Ease-of-Use: The phone’s design makes it extremely easy to use. You only need to dial a number followed by the Call button. Besides, you can choose a user language from one of the 12 included in the phone.
- Powerful Network: The Thuraya XT-LITE works on one of the strongest satellite phone networks in the world. So, you can use it in more than two-thirds of the world.
Benefits of Having a Free Satellite Phone
The typical satellite phone doesn’t require a terrestrial network such as GSM. Instead, it communicates via satellite, which makes it possible to reach anywhere in the world. The following are some of the benefits of having a satellite phone:
- Its connection is more secure
- A satellite phone doesn’t require a cell tower to operate
- They make it possible to get excellent connectivity worldwide
- You can use your usual phone number and maintain uniformity
- Its network coverage is the widest you can get anywhere
- The satellite signal is stronger than that of terrestrial phone services
- It has voice mail and caller identification features
- Satellite phones do not require installation but can be used on the go
- Provides consistent performance regardless of the location
- There’s no possibility of dropped calls with satellite phones
- You may rent one instead of purchasing
Disadvantages of A Free Satellite Phone
Despite its many benefits, a satellite phone may have several disadvantages, especially when it comes to how it works. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to avoid a satellite phone:
- Satellite phones only work outside buildings
- Most satellite phones work on the 2G network, which has low internet bandwidth
- Extreme weather may interfere with the service
- Some handsets can be too big to fit in pockets
- Unless given free, a satellite phone can be expensive. Its service is also costly
- The handsets come with larger antennas, which make them bulky
- You may not use a satellite phone in some local authority jurisdictions
- There are instances when voice conversions delay
- Satellite phones have higher per-minute charges than cell phones
Are you looking for a free satellite phone? Three of the handsets discussed above are available for free if you sign up for the service provider’s annual or monthly plan. However, the rest are available at highly discounted prices.
Having a satellite phone is an essential need, especially if you plan to go mountain climbing, sailing, or hiking off the trail. You can use it to stay in touch with friends and family and make emergency calls.
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