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Satellite Phone Rentals Sales - FAQ

Please see below frequently asked questions regarding our satellite mobile phone services. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email our customer support centre.

Satellite Phones

Usage and Troubleshooting

BGAN Rental Troubleshooting

Shipping and Delivery

Do satellite phones work exactly the same way as cell phones?
The only difference between using a satellite phone and using a cell phone is that the antenna of your satellite phone must have a clear line of sight to the sky. Satellite phones work best when used outside without obstructions (tall buildings, mountains, trees etc). In towns and cities, inside buildings or around built up areas, it can be difficult to get a clear line of sight to the satellite, and signal strength may weaken.

Can I send text messages from my satellite phone?
Yes, text messages can be sent and received on your satellite phone. Incoming text messages are free and outgoing text messages are $1.00 each.

Is there anywhere in the world my satellite phone from Satellite Phone Sales won't work?
Iridium complies with US embargo restrictions and as a result the following countries may not permit the use of Iridium satellite phones or coverage may not be available: Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea and Syria.

I am going on a cruise, should I Satellite Phone Sales to stay in touch while on board?
Some cruise operators offer the ability to use your cellular phone on the ship, even while you are at sea. You should contact your cruise operator or travel agent before departure to learn about cellular options on the ship. Be sure to ask your cellular carrier about the per-minute rate for using the cruise ship network, as the roaming charges may be quite expensive ($2.49-$5+ per minute). A satellite phone may prove to be a better option for your cruise if you want to be assured of a consistent per-minute rate regardless of your location and the available cellular technology on the ship. A couple of tips for using a satellite phone aboard a cruise ship:

  • to make OR receive calls, you must be outdoors and have a clear line of sight to the sky at all times (this likely means you need to be up on deck and/or away from the superstructure)
  • you must move well away from any high powered radio or satellite equipment located on the ship (ask a crew member about locations of this equipment)

How do my contacts call me on my Iridium satellite phone?
Callers should dial their international dialing code (ie. 0011 ), followed by your 12-digit satellite phone number. For example, if your number is (881) 5555-1234, callers from Australia should dial 0011 881 5555 1234.

The caller pays for the call based on the rates their long distance service provider sets to dial the 8816 country code. There is no cost to you for these incoming calls. If the call does not go through, it means that the caller's long distance service provider does not support the 8816 country code.

Callers can also use two-stage dialing. First they will dial (00111480) 768-2500 and then they will be prompted to input your 12-digit satellite phone number. The cost to the caller is a standard long distance call to Arizona. You pay for the call according to the rates set out by your airtime plan.

How do my contacts send me text messages?
Your contacts can send you a text message from the Iridium website messaging tool at http://messaging.iridium.com/ . Your phone must be on to receive this message.

How do I dial back to North America?

  1. Enter the '+' symbol on the display by pressing and holding the [0] key until the '+' symbol appears.
  2. Enter the country code (1) for the country you are calling (the country code for both Canada and US is '1').
  3. Enter the area code.
  4. Enter the telephone number.

For example, to call (905) 272-5665 dial +1 905 272 5665

How do I dial another country? Where can I find Country Codes?
Use the tool below to find the number you must use to dial an international call.

How do I re-attach the antenna? What if it is loose?
Press the "release" button. Ensure the antenna in the down position. Click the antenna into place and let go of the release button simultaneously.

How do I access my voicemail?

  • Dial your Iridium handset number or 8816-629-90000.
  • Wait for voice prompt.
  • Enter the number you are trying to reach (ex. 8816-314-XXXXX) if you dialed the access number.
  • Interrupt voicemail greeting by pressing *. (Start here if calling phone directly)
  • Wait for prompt to enter password.

I am unable to make satellite calls

  • Check the phone. Verify the phone is powered on.
  • Check the SIM card. Verify the SIM card is inserted correctly.
  • Check the antenna. The antenna needs to be fully extended, attached correctly, and have a clear line of sight to the sky.
  • Check the signal strength meter. If signal is weak, move to an open space with a clear line of sight.
  • Confirm correct dialing pattern is being used. All satellite calls must begin with 00 or the '+' sign.
  • Confirm that the number dialed is valid. Check the number you are trying to reach.

I am unable to receive calls

  • Check the phone. Verify the phone is powered on.
  • Check the antenna. The antenna needs to be fully extended, attached correctly, and the call is being made in a clear line of sight to the sky.
  • Check the signal strength meter. If signal is weak, move to an open space with clear line of sight.
  • Check the dialing pattern. Confirm the caller is using the correct dialing pattern.
  • Check the ringer. Verify ringer is on.
    • Press Menu key to Phone set-up. Press OK.
    • Press Menu key again, to Adjust Ring Volume. Press OK.
    • Press up arrow to increase volume and down arrow to decrease volume.

I am unable to turn the phone's power on.

  • Press and hold the power key for three seconds to turn the phone's power on.
  • Check the battery. Is it charged and properly attached? Are the contacts clean and dry? Is the battery holding a charge?

I don't have a signal.

  • Check the phone. Verify the phone is powered on.
  • Check the antenna. The antenna needs to be rotated towards the sky and extended.
  • Make sure that the antenna is firmly locked into the back of the phone. The antenna sometimes loosens during shipping:
    • Make sure the antenna is in the down position (the white dots will be lined up).
    • Press the button on the top of the phone by the antenna while locking the antenna into place.
    • The antenna should be able to rotate, but should also stay in the position you leave it. The antenna should not rotate down on its own.
  • Make sure that there are no obstructions to the antenna, such as trees or buildings.

The battery won't charge.

  • Check the charger. Is it properly connected? Are the charger's contacts clean and dry?
  • Check the battery temperature. If it is warm, let it cool before recharging.
  • Check the battery contacts. Are they clean and dry?
  • Is it an old battery? Battery performance declines after several years use. Replace the battery.
  • Make sure you have a Motorola approved battery installed. If you see Invalid Batt. in the display, you will not be able to charge this battery.

What do the coloured lights mean?

  • Alternating Red and Green: an incoming call.
  • Flashing Green: you are receiving a signal from the satellite, and can place and receive calls.
  • Flashing Yellow and Red: you did not successfully register with the satellite and cannot receive any incoming calls. Your SIM card may be inserted incorrectly, may not be inserted, or you may be in a restricted area.
  • Flashing Red: service is not available.

How do I obtain a GPS fix or get good signal strength?

  1. Make sure the SIM card is properly installed.
  2. Make sure the BGAN terminal is in an open view of the sky.
  3. Make sure the BGAN terminal is not near any active radio frequency or other satellite equipment.
  4. Orient your terminal towards satellite. Refer to the user guide how to point the antenna.

What should I do if my PC does not detect the BGAN terminal?

  1. Make sure DHCP is enabled.
  2. Release and renew your IP address.
  3. Configure the Proxy/Firewall on your computer to allow BGAN "IP".
  4. Make sure the Ethernet/USB cable is secure.
  5. Make sure the USB drivers are installed (if you are using USB).

Why can't I install the USB driver when using Microsoft Windows? (thrane Explorer 500)

  1. Make sure you have the proper operating system and service pack.
  2. Make sure you have usbser.sys installed in the C:\windows\system32\drivers folder.
  3. Make sure you have the proper installation CD and when you are installing the drivers you install 3 components:
    • Thrane & Thrane Explorer 500 modem
    • Port1
    • Port2

How do I make or receive a phone call?

  1. Make sure the BGAN terminal is properly connected.
  2. Make sure the BGAN terminal is registered with the BGAN network.
  3. Make sure there is a dial tone.
  4. Make sure the phone interface is enabled.
  5. Make sure you use the proper dialing pattern (00 country code + area code + phone number followed by #)

Shipping and Delivery  

When will I receive my satellite phone?
Whether you order online or over the phone, you will be asked to enter your "required date." The date you enter will be the day you receive your phone. We recommend you specify a required date two days before you leave for your trip just in case there are any problems that may interfere with courier delivery.

Will I get my satellite phone number before I leave for my trip?
When your phone is shipped from our facility, you will receive an email confirmation that contains your satellite phone number. Also, the Welcome Kit that accompanies your phone comes with Business Cards pre-printed with your satellite phone number that you can distribute to your contacts before leaving town. Your phone number is labelled directly on your rental phone.

How much notice is required to book an order with Satellite Phone Sales?
SatellitePhoneSales offers next business day delivery for most cities across Australia(some exceptions apply). Your order must be placed before 3:00 pm EST for next business day delivery (weekends excluded). If you live in a rural area and you need next day delivery, please call our Customer Care centre at 1300 197 600 to ensure next day delivery is possible.

How do I place an order?
You may order online using our secure ordering process or you may phone our us on 1300 197 600 to speak with a Customer Care Associate who can answer your questions and place your order for you.

Am I able to track my shipment?
When your order has been processed and shipped, you will be sent an email confirmation. This confirmation will contain a link that allows you to track the delivery of your order on the Australian airexpress or toll ipec  websites.

What if my items are out of stock?
Satellite Phone Sales products and services are subject to availability. Should you place an order for an item which is currently out of stock we  will contact you to arrange for a substitute item or to change your order.


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