My wife works as a home based care provider and yesterday had her gov't issued ... C Spire/Cellular South forum
Educate me on satellite phones
My wife works as a home based care provider and yesterday had her gov't issued vehicle break down. Luckily it was close to town so she made it to a place where it could be helped and she had cell service, but such we agreed shouldn't be taken for granted. Her department has a budget surplus and it was my immediate suggestion that if money is use it or lose it --if her department has leftover funds and they don't spend them they get cut that amount in next year's budget and they don't want that happening--she should ask for a satellite phone.
I know they're a great thing to have and theoretically work anywhere on the surface of the Earth. They can cost anything from $500 to $3000+. You can rent them but that's not the goal here as it's a departmental purchase for her use, so it's to own. I have a slight inkling of how they work, but only rudimentary understanding at best. Beyond that I don't know very much at all about them.
Money is an object to a point as we're going through a purchasing department, but obviously this is going to need to be worthwhile in getting it. It is especially for times of year in upstate NY and PA where snow or ice storm can knock out the phones, make roads impassable, etc. so this needs to be up to the task and rock solid.
A likely stipulation may be she has to buy it through their requisition process. Essentially she'd be ordering it out of a government catalog...which I'm likely not going to be able to get a look at and she'll probably only get to look at later, and mostly after the question of will the bean counters sign off on it is answered. I'm scouting for facts on this way ahead of time to be able to make the case for it, sell the idea to her superiors if need be. What brands/models are they going to have to pick from? If I saw a sat phone in a gov't employee's hands that Uncle Sam paid for, what would it be? She works with the VA medical system; it's unusual as far as that particular government branch goes but I gather resources are broad and can be broadened as need presents itself.
Thoughts? Any help is much appreciated.
First of all there are different satellite networks, Globalstar, Iridium, Inmarstat, Spot and Thuraya are the biggest. Satellite phones do just what the name says, they communicate via satellite. They are uber expensive to purchase and use. The average phone will run you about $1500 to buy. The plans vary, an average number would be around $1.29 per minute. But there is also the plan calling cost which runs around $50 per month. The phones are SMS capable too, around 120 characters for about .40 cents per message, (incoming and outgoing). You can get email for about $5 a month added in. Voice mail will run you about $5 per month. If you call another satellite phone on another network that will cost you a whopping $10 a minute!!
All in all, they are extremely expensive to own and operate. These phones are really designed for the traveler that visits remote areas. They aren't designed for the everyday user. If she wants the phone for emergency purposes only, then there are annual plans that include 50 minutes, but they are still expensive ($450-$650 per year). They offer pre-paid minutes too, but theres a catch...the minutes are good for a set time period and it costs extra to extend the validity time period. I know this is a lot of info, but I just don't think a satellite phone would be a frugal choice. Good luck on convincing the bean counters that she needs it...lol
The cost averages above are based on the Iridium Network
wow, sounds great, but seems expensive.
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