Walt asked: “What is your opinion on satellite phones?”
Walt, if you’re a long distance sailor that needs an emergency phone, or you like exploring deserts, or are building a new Panama canal through the wilderness, they may be useful to you, but when was the last time you were somewhere that didn’t have regular cell phone coverage?
For most of us, they are useless, but for most of us rugged laptops are useless too, and most of us don’t really need a winch attached to our cars, yet some people need those things.
If you really have no other option where you need to communicate, by all means get and use one, but the vast majority of us are better off just using our regular cell phones, since even international roaming charges are usually cheaper than sat phone minutes.
Satellite phones these days are just a specialized tool for the very few people that need them, as an average consumer, you can probably just use your smartphone and be covered in 99% of situations.