This is my understanding of the options:
a) Caller direct dials to the Iridium country code. Their carrier usually charges them an obscene ($10/minute) rate.
b) Caller uses a prepaid international calling card with a good Iridium rate. Last time I checked these were more reasonable but still way expensive (~$3/minute). These are marketed to relatives of people who work on merchant ships.
c) Two stage dialing. Caller dials an Arizona number, then when the British lady talks, dials your Iridium number. Charges are reversed to you (the Iridium account holder)
d) 800 number. You pay for an 800 number to be setup (only available with some Iridium resellers). Charges are reversed to you. There is a small monthly fee for this.
I ran my business from the Sea of Cortez
for a little while, and this was my system:
- 800 number with a virtual PBX service
. This is the number I gave people.
- I set the "No Answer" option to forward to a voicemail transcription service
, configured that to email
the transcriptions to the boat and send a text to the Iridium phone (free).
- When in port, I forwarded the virtual PBX to either a Skype Incoming number or a cell phone
that was roaming (at the time Verizon had a "North America" plan which gave me a good roaming rate)
- When someplace rural, I forwarded the virtual PBX to an Iridium 800 number.
I think these days Google
Voice may handle forwarding and transcription in one service.