Satellite Phone FAQs

Can I use my satellite phone anywhere in the world?

Satellite phones can be used anywhere in the world – they are in the truest sense a global phone. There are however countries where usage is restricted or prohibited.

Cellhire does not recommend taking your Iridium handset to these countries as there is a good chance it may be confiscated by Customs or additional local regulations may be breeched simply by being in possession of it.

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Is there coverage everywhere?

Iridium devices will work anywhere on the planet, Inmarsat devices will not work at the North, nor the South Pole – they will work everywhere else.

Please note: Inmarsat and Iridium are line-of-site devices, meaning they must be outside and have a clear view of the sky in order to work properly.

The use of satellite devices may be prohibited or restricted in certain areas. Taking the device into areas where it is prohibited may result in its confiscation.

Always obey the local laws and regulations on the use of these devices. If you are unsure, please contact the local customs office.

How can I get a good connection with the satellite phone?

Find an unobstructed view of the sky, away from tall buildings and structures. Check your signal strength and try to remain stationary. This will help to keep your signal strong and reduce the likelihood of calls being dropped. If the signal strength is good but the connection sounds poor, persevere with your call. Your Satellite phone is likely to be working correctly and any interference may be temporary. If your device does not register after several minutes, power down the device, then power it back on while standing outside, the device should then register.

Where can I find my satellite phone number?

Your phone number is printed on a label affixed to the side of your satellite rental phone, it can also be found on the instruction sheet.

How do my contacts dial my satellite phone from the US?

Callers will dial 011 followed by your satellite phone number (this number begins with 8816 for Iridium devices and 870 for Inmarsat devices).

How much does it cost for my contacts to call the satellite phone?

Verizon Wireless customers with international dialing can call Iridium and Inmarsat satellite phones for $6.00 per minute plus airtime, calls to satellite networks other than Iridium will cost $9.00 per minute. For landline phones and other cellular providers the caller must contact their service provider for rates.

Can you call forward to the satellite phone?

No. Unfortunately US cellular Carriers will not allow cellular numbers to be forwarded to a satellite number. Please contact our Sales Dept. if you are interested in including a US number with your rental – this will allow callers to reach you by dialing a US number rather than a satellite number.

How do I retrieve my voicemail and how much does it cost?

For Iridium handsets Press the Menu key, scroll to Voicemail and press Select, Call Voicemail will be highlighted, press Select and follow the prompts.

For Inmarsat handsets press and hold the “1” key, the phone will call your voicemail service, follow the prompts.

For both Iridium and Inmarsat your outbound call rate will apply for calls to voicemail. See your Rental agreement for exact pricing.

How do I dial an international dialing code on the satellite phone?

The + sign acts as any international exit code when dialed from the satellite phone. To dial internationally, simply enter + (press and hold the 0 key and the + sign will display) followed by the country code for the country you are calling and then the full phone number.
For example, the United States country code is '1', so to call 214 355 5200 from the satellite phone you would dial + 1 214 355 5200.

Can I send and receive text messages?

Yes you can. Text messages can be sent to and from other satellite phones, as well as to and from cellular phones. Again like placing a call the numbers should be entered in an international dialing format i.e., 214 355 5200 becomes +1 214 355 5200.

Please note cellphone users should check with their carrier to make sure they are approved for texting satellite numbers.

What do I do if my phone will not register on the network?

Satellite phones are making a connection with a satellite and there will be times that this may take a few minutes. Please follow the instructions in your user guide and make sure you have a clear view of the sky (having a 360 degree view of the horizon also helps), that you are standing still and that the antenna is pointing upward. If after four minutes the phone has not connected, simply power it off and then, while outside, power it back on.

How will I know when the antenna is in the right position?

Please make sure your antenna is always vertical and still during the connection process – once connected you are free to move about although it is recommended that you try to remain in one spot.

Is there data on a satellite phone?

Satellite phones are not built to transmit data. If data is a requirement, the BGAN units are much better for data transmission- The Terminal 510 on the order site is a great option to send and receive data and browse the internet.

Can I use data on the Iridium GO! device?

At 2.4 Kilobits per second, the Iridium Go! is not a solution to those looking for workable connection for normal Internet use. A single webpage could take 15-30 minutes to load, e-mail attachments even longer. The Iridium GO! should be used only as an emergency backup solution.