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Satellite Phones – Functions, Geography and Benefits

A satellite telephone is an incredibly useful device for those who travel to isolated places with no access to cellular or landline phones. To learn more about this useful device, let us discuss its function, geography and benefits in comprehensive manner.


Sat phones function in two major ways:

  • Geosynchronous satellites are located over 20,000 miles above the Earth. These satellites remain fixed relative to the rotation of the planet. This ensures greater coverage per satellite, thereby reducing the number of satellites required. However, there may be chances of delay or echo while talking over the phone. Thuraya and Inmarsat utilize this type of satellite, and Thuraya even offers dual mode phones that amalgamates both GSM and satellite phone services.
  • The second type of satellite used by sat phones is Low Earth Orbiting or LEO satellites. Located approximately 500 miles above the earth, these satellites typically do not cause any delay.

Satellite phone services, unlike cellular phone services, usually do not have any roaming fees as these phones either work or do not work within a specified area, depending on the satellite coverage.

Satellite Phones - Functions, Geography and Benefits


The foremost benefit of sat phone is their capability of providing coverage in areas that do not have cell phone or land line services. But not all sat phones cover similar areas. Thuraya phones give satellite coverage in India, China, Japan, Australia, Northern and central Africa, the Middle East, Western Russia and most of Europe. Iridium sat phones cover major portion of the world. Inmarsat BGAN service all covers most of the world with the exception of the areas near the north and south poles.


The benefits attached with sat phones are widely acknowledged by one and all. They provide the best medium of communication to military, emergency personnel, rescue teams, sailors etc., in places where cellular or landline phones are unavailable. As it provides coverage across the globe, it is ideal mode of contact when traveling to dense jungles, war affected areas, mid of the sea and other such isolated locations.

The uses and benefits of sat phones or rental are not limited to governmental or commercial use. In fact, individuals who travel outside torrential range like Poles, dense jungles, war prone areas etc. for work or recreational purposes can rent satellite telephone for peace of mind. It will help them establish communication with their loved ones, rescue personnel or other people anywhere across the globe whenever they wish.

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