For the common man, the Cellular phone is a definite asset, but for people in areas where there is little or no network connection the use of satellite phones comes into play.
Renting a satellite phone in Australia looks a lot like our regular mobile phones, except the fact that they are bigger and heavier. Technically, Cell phones get their connectivity through terrestrial towers while satellite phones get their signals via satellites. Depending on the service provider’s services and satellite connectivity, these phones may connect throughout the Earth or in specific regions.
Satellite phones services also have the advantage of a single number across regions and are unaffected by natural disasters like storms, earthquakes, hurricanes etc. Infact, these phones, find a lot of usage in rescue operations unlike cellulars where the towers might get destroyed leading to zero networks and stranded people.
During emergencies the benefit is not just for people having lost connectivity on cell phones, but it becomes a necessity for the rescue operators so that they can call in for back up as and when required, so that lives can be saved. Usually, in times of emergency, many services will be cohesively like the ambulance services, military services, Red Cross, Fire department etc. In order to work together, the satellite phones really come in handy.
There have been instances when Iridium phones have been used to save crucial lives of stranded sailors. Even the Isatphone Pro offers an SOS facility for Australians to dial 000 or 112 and the call would be routed to the Australian Emergency services.
Satellite phones find patronage with boat owners also. While in the middle of the sea when no cellular connectivity is available, satellite phones save the day. Any technical problem that the captain faces, he can always call the authorities, one call and help is at hand. Medical emergencies or any problems can be tackled with the help of these phones. Charter boat owners have also found added benefit of staying in touch with the booking agents so that they do not lose out on their earnings.
So, a Satellite phone, apart from emergency services also finds its commercial usage. It is not restricted to Government use alone. While some countries have banned their usage for public, other countries like Australia, people living in remote areas can even apply for subsidy on Satellite phones.