Satellite phones, once seen as a luxury item for adventurous souls, are essential devices for any business that operates globally or in remote areas.
Instead of connecting to cellular phone towers, like ordinary mobile phones, satellite phones connect directly to satellites via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). In short, this means satellite phone coverage has the ability to be extremely specific, centralized in a particular town, city, or continent, or can encompass the entire world.
When looking to incorporate satellite phone usage into a business, it is important to consider the variability and flexibility of connectivity and range. It is also beneficial to be aware of the general capabilities of satellite phones. Some services require satellite phones have a direct line to the orbiting satellite due to obstructions such as buildings or even dense forests, while other providers ensure better quality by transmitting calls between satellites, offering more range and connectivity options.
Therefore, it is critical to educate yourself on the type of satellite phone, service and supplier needed by your business or specific project. There are many benefits to renting a satellite phone over buying while you are learning their ins and outs and what kind you need. They include:
1) Flexibility & Testing
Investing in a satellite phone can be a costly endeavor, ranging upwards of $1,500 per device depending on its quality, range,and utility.
For contractors, businesses, or even intrepid entrepreneurs whose use of a satellite phone is based on ever-changing projects and clientele, buying a satellite phone might be limiting. Once a satellite phone is purchased, it is difficult to deviate from its established capabilities. If a project demands a wider range, higher-quality signal, or more global accessibility, the business may simply be stuck not having the capabilities they need or sinking more money into another phone.
Consider all additional maintenance and operational fees that may come with a satellite phone plan. These fees include voice calls from the satellite phone to other satellite phones, landlines, or cellular phones within and outside of your network. Staying within a network guarantees lower rates, but if a call needs to be made out of your network, rates can be upwards of $10 per minute. Also, consider the high cost of calling from a cellular phone to a satellite phone.
All of these factors will determine the number of satellite phones needed within the business under one network and the type of network that will afford the greatest connectivity options.
Renting a satellite phone will offer the flexibility to change a plan if it’s not meeting the business’ needs, allows accessibility to satellite phones only when needed instead of signing a long-term, costly contract, and can be a great way to test out different types of satellite phones before eventually purchasing.
2) Low Upfront Cost
Generally, upfront costs that accompany the purchase of a satellite phone are very high, along with the continual maintenance and plan fees.
Satellite phones alone can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2000, and on top of that initial cost, there are activation costs, monthly plan charges, and overage fees. And even after all of these are paid, it may be that the business discovers they made the wrong choice and the phone can’t keep up with their needs. That means they need to start the whole process over again, sinking even more into another phone and set-up process.
By renting a satellite phone, a business has the option to change what is not working about their current phone without the huge upfront costs, meaning that if they do decide to buy eventually, they’ll only spend that money once.
3) Choose Who You Work With
As mentioned above, renting offers the ability to test out different types of services in order to determine which works best for a business’ overall needs. Renting is also a great way to test out the service provider and their business partners.
For example, Iridium Communications, Inc. is one of the world’s leading global mobile satellite communications companies, providing both voice and data coverage on a universal level. Working with a vast partner network across the globe, Iridium provides high-quality, innovative and reliable services by utilizing low-latency communication – basically, unnoticeable delays between input and output.
Any business looking for a reliable satellite phone with range and versatility will want to partner with a service that supports and works with Iridium. Renting allows a business to test the waters with these types of partnerships without having to do any of the legwork in building that relationship, which has already been established by the provider.
Renting a satellite phone is a very logical option for those who aren’t ready to make the leap into buying, but still need the capabilities a satellite phone provides. For more information on renting a satellite phone or to speak with a representative directly, please feel free to contact us.