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Are Satellite Phones Still Useful?

Walt in Herndon, Pennsylvania listens on WPSE 1420 and asked us about satellite phones

Satellite Phone© by Wikimedia

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?

If you really have no other option where you need to communicate, by all means get and use one

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.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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  1. I am thinking about getting a satellite phone because I’ll be doing a long term sailing excursion. You do bring up a good point to make sure that there is no cell service where I would be using it. My thing is that I want to make sure that I can still talk to my family while on the ocean.