Best Satellite Phone of 2018

If you love exploring your world, you can't do it without a satellite phone in hand.

Investigating remote areas, sailing and hiking in backcountry areas can certainly be exhilarating and freeing. However, an emergency can easily occur anytime you escape civilization. In this case, it only makes sense to stay connected to loved ones back at home via satellite.

Not sure which satellite phone to choose? Don't worry -- here's a look at the best satellite phone of 2018, along with some other models that are worth checking out.

Let's dive in!

1. Best Satellite Phone of 2018: The Iridium Extreme 9575

We consider this to be the best satellite phone of 2018 for a number of reasons.

For starters, the Iridium Extreme 9575 is rugged and features an integrated Global Positioning System (GPS). It also has a handy SOS button for emergency situations.

But perhaps the biggest reason we like this phone: It literally works anywhere and everywhere across the globe -- even in Earth's polar areas. You can't beat that whether you're traveling far and wide by land or by sea.

This phone is also an excellent choice because it's both water resistant and dust resistant. And when the battery is charged, you can easily talk for as long as four hours.

In addition, you can easily receive and send receive voicemail, email and text messages with this phone. Note, though, that you'll likely have to keep your messages brief, as the phone has a max data speed of just 2.4 kbps.

However, you can even use the Iridium Extreme 9575 as a portable hotspot -- a major added bonus.

So, is this phone right for you? It most definitely is if you're a frequent global traveler who needs a phone with true global functioning.

2. Iridium Extreme 9575 PTT

This is another highly rated phone we can't say enough good things about. It's hands down the best phone for those working in the toughest environmental conditions.

This phone is a smart buy due to its lengthy battery life and unparalleled durability. It also comes with global service -- perfect for the avid world traveler.

The Iridium Extreme 9575 PTT also features a handy push-to-talk (PTT) radio, which is especially helpful if you're traveling with a group. So, it's recommended for working groups and teams that cover a lot of ground, so to speak.

In essence, this phone is an even tougher version of the Iridium Extreme 9575 with PTT radio messaging added. The best part of this ultra-portable dual-purpose communications tool? It comes with free PTT minutes that do not count against your service plan.

You can't beat that.

The phone's large battery will allow you to talk for a little more than six hours if you're in the phone mode and a little more than five hours if you're in the PTT mode.

On top of this, this phone model's audio is relatively loud for enhanced messaging out in the field. All in all, you can't go wrong with this phone no matter how rough your travel conditions may be.

3. Iridium GO! 9560

Here's yet another Iridium product (see the trend here?) that you can't overlook in your search for the best satellite phone.

This product is essentially a robust satellite terminal that's equipped with a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Wi-Fi connection has a decent radius of around 100 feet, making it extremely useful when you're on the go.

This is the perfect tool for enhancing your mobile device with satellite capability so that you can use your device wherever you travel. With Iridium GO! 9560, your mobile device will work even if you are outside of the range of a terrestrial network.

The best thing about the satellite terminal is that it's compatible with both Apple and Android systems. In addition, it can support as many as five mobile devices simultaneously.

You can also take advantage of voice calling, email, text messaging, weather-monitoring apps and even an app for activing an emergency signal with this Iridium product. Furthermore, since you can access Iridium Web and Mail with this terminal, you can easily browse the Web, update your social network profile and even share photos during your travels.

Also, due to the unit's small size, you can easily store it in your backpack. At the same time, it is extremely rugged, featuring military-grade durability (MIL-STD 810F). So, it'll hold up even in the harshest of environments.

And another thing: The satellite terminal is also water, dust and even shock resistant.

When you purchase this device, you'll find everything you will need right in the box. That includes a battery, a protective cover, four international adapters, a data/ Universal Serial Bus charging cable, an alternating current (AC) adapter and an AC travel charger.

However, in some situations, connecting to your mobile device with the Iridium GO! 9560 may prove challenging. Therefore, it wouldn't hurt for you to double-check with your device's service provider to ensure that the Iridium satellite terminal will indeed work with it.

4. Iridium 9555

This satellite phone is on the list because it's the best global satellite phone if you're a far-ranging traveler looking for a bargain.

It isn't particularly rugged, so it's recommended for those who plan to travel the world in conditions that aren't necessarily extreme.

The phone also doesn't come with an SOS button or backup GPS. In other words, it's ideal for those who want satellite phone connectivity but without all of the bells and whistles that come with other phones.

However, this phone is popular because it comes with global service and will allow you to talk for four hours. It also boasts 30 standby hours.

Still, as with the other Iridium satellite phones, don't be surprised if your call drops every 15 minutes due to the constant movement of satellites.

The Iridium 9555 does also have email and text messaging capabilities -- extra perks you'll love while you're on your global journey. And the fact that the phone is relatively simple to operate and is intuitive makes it a no-brainer for many international travelers.

5. Globalstar GSP-1700

This is another excellent satellite phone due to its high-level voice quality combined with its relatively low cost of operation. The voice quality is so clear because the phone links with cell ground stations.

We recommend the Globalstar GSP-1700 if you don't need a particularly rugged phone. Also, note that this phone will not work everywhere in the world. It does work in most places, though.

With that being said, it is the satellite phone made for the bargain lover. The service rates for the Globalstar network are still quite a bit more than those for regular cellular service, but they're a lot more reasonable when compared with others.

Another benefit of the Globalstar GSP-1700? Its data transfer speed is 9.6 kbps. Translation: This phone is Speedy Gonzales compared with its satellite phone counterparts. Still, the phone does not receive and send text messages, and it doesn't have GPS capability.

Nonetheless, you can still use voicemail with this phone. Also, you can obtain your latitude and longitude from this phone while you're in talk mode -- a handy feature when you're hitting the pavement in other parts of the world.

6. IsatPhone 2

This phone is an excellent choice for those who'll be sailing around the world but not necessarily at the poles. It's also a great option if you plan to get wet a ton.

This splash-resistant, rugged satellite phone is excellent if you're looking for a marine device with a strong signal and a price that's neither too low nor too high. The phone is also dust and shock resistant, and it can easily withstand humidity levels as high as 95%.

The phone's SOS button and integrated GPS further make this phone a winner among world travelers who plan to remain within the globe's 70th parallels. The SOS button works by sending an emergency text message with your current location to a pre-arranged telephone number.

Another reason to choose the IsatPhone 2? You can chat for a stunning eight hours without losing battery power, and a total of 160 standby hours are available. The phone is also recognized for having a convenient glare-resistant screen -- perfect for sunny conditions.

Finally, this phone comes with email, text messaging and voicemail capabilities -- everything you need to stay connected to loved ones back home while you're on the go.

Why the Iridium Network?

Now that we've looked at the best satellite phones of 2018, let's take a closer look at the networks to which these phones belong.

The Iridium network is worth mentioning first because it is no doubt the industry leader, featuring hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

This network has several low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites that are constantly moving. That means if you're having trouble getting a signal with your Iridium phone, you should be able to get one on future attempts.

Iridium is also the sole satellite service that extends to the world's poles. And because this network's satellites are located around the world, you won't have as many connection issues when you're in the mountains or in canyons.

Another benefit of this network is that you can easily walk and talk simultaneously --something you may have trouble doing with Inmarsat. In addition, this network is the only one that offers multiple phones at the moment.

On the flip side, Iridium satellite phones tend to cost more than Inmarsat phones do. However, Iridium's service plans are comparable to those of Inmarsat, and they're actually less costly than those of Globalstar.

Why the Globalstar Network?

Contrary to its name, Globalstar's many LEO satellites do not provide global coverage -- a major downside of this network. Instead, the coverage is regionalized.

However, people can easily call those who use Globalstar, as the network's phones are linked with several cell ground stations, and every phone has a local phone number.

With low service and equipment prices plus top-level voice quality, Globalstar remains an excellent network choice overall. Of the three networks we have discussed, its data transfer speed remains the quickest by several times, although it is still much slower than those of computers and smartphones.

If you happen to travel, live or work in the areas that Globalstar covers, this network is the one to choose unless you desperately need the features that only Inmarsat or Iridium offer.

Why the Inmarsat Network?

This network has a few geostationary satellites that circle the earth's equator in fixed orbits. Like Globalstar, Inmarsat doesn't offer polar region coverage. In addition, the network's signals can be tricky to locate if you're behind a large building, inside a canyon or on a mountain's polar side.

However, if you move about, you should be able to find a signal relatively quickly. And when you do secure a signal, it will be reliable -- that is, if you stay put. So, no walking and talking with this phone.

Put another way, Iridium satellites have to move to locate phones, whereas Inmarsat phones must move to locate satellites.

A major plus of Inmarsat, though, is that it originally created the maritime industry's network, so its phones are made rugged and designed for use in areas that are wet. Still, that doesn't make them waterproof, so be careful.

When it comes to cost, Inmarsat phones are more expensive than Globalstar's but less expensive than Iridium's.

And with regard to signal strength, you can't go wrong with Inmarsat. Inmarsat's signal strength is much more consistent than that of Iridium since Iridium's satellites don't ever quit moving.

How We Can Help

We offer a wealth of information on today's communications industry technologies. After all, we understand that a large number of cutting-edge devices are being marketed today and that knowing which ones are best can be challenging.

Our ultimate goal is to help you to pick the products that best meet your unique needs.

Along with providing tips on satellite phones, we offer information about amplifier cables, cable wires, coaxial cables, cable splitters, signal splitters and digital antennas.

Get in touch with us to find out more about the best satellite phone of 2018 and how the right phone can enhance your traveling experience the world over.

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