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Old 8 Jan 2007
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satellite phonesw


could anyone recommend whether is is a good idea to buy a satellite phone if I am a solo rider travelling the length of the americas? Is this just a waste of money as GSM phones are fine, or is it actually a good idea for safety etc?


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Old 8 Jan 2007
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It all depends

I'm currently in Buenos Aires after visiting 16 countries on a F650GSD.

I bought one bc i was planning/did jungle trips and off road riding. I spentup to 10 days with no potable water, phone lines etc etc. I used the phone to let my family know i was ok.

if you are planning to be just in touristy cities and well travel roads i probably wouldn't buy it since you can use that money to travel almost an additional month. Instead I would be extra careful when riding. My GSM cingular phone works almost everywhere even - in small towns. But if you have the cash buy it since is one more measure of security.

good luck!

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Old 12 Jan 2007
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I take a Globalstar sat phone with me on rides into Mexico, and have really enjoyed the peace of mind, and ability to contact the wife every couple of days to let her know where I am.

We usually ride in pretty remote areas, where there is no cell coverage at all...so a sat phone is really the only choice.

With a little love and luck, we will get by.
2003 BMW R1150GS Adventure
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Old 12 Jan 2007
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cel phones

Like Salcar says, if you are only going to call home every few days to update the folks you can do that by way of payphones for a lot less money than investing in your own " groundstation". Even in Mexico I can' t see you getting so remote that you will not run into someplace that has pay phone or even a " caseta de larga distancia" - a private payphone operator working from a shop. Go to one of the pharmacies or convenience stores and buy one of their phonecards for long distance calling, very reasonable rates. e.g . the Farmacias Similares ( they advertise with the jovial figurehead of "Dr.Simi") sells phonecards like those in the USA where you have to dial up many numbers to get connected , but it is very cheap compared to the investment in a satelite phone and no worries about losing it, breakage and theft.
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Old 17 Jan 2007
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If you have a SAT phone, you will, most likely, not need it. If you do not have one, you would pay $3,000 to have one when stuck in a serious situation.

We have the iriduim, and the peace of mind is worth every penny!
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Old 19 Jan 2007
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Sat Phone

I would never again leave the states for Central and South America. I have an Iridium Sat phone that I brought along for safety. As it turns out being able to call directly home saved me from missing a land sell and enable me with the help of tha American Embassy here in Costa Rica to do all the paper work with out returning home.
Bottom line the peace of mind would have been enought but I would have missed out on income had I not had it.
I might add that one of my riding buddies crashed in copper canyon and although were able to handle the situation the phone could have been a life saver. Cheap Insurance I would say
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