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Old 01-04-2015, 18:52   #1
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SPOT Global Phone

Anyone have experience with the Spot Global Phone. SPOT is running a rebate program where you can obtain a $499 rebate on the phone making it essentially free. They have an unlimited plan for $150.00 per month. Seems like a great deal if the service quality is there.

Any experience out there?
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:04   #2
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

Only possible problem I can see is coverage. Spot uses the globalstar network which has not had a terribly good press...
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:28   #3
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

Check out Boatie's Atlantic delivery where the forum followed his Spot and what happened as a result

Atlantic Delivery (only 1483 posts to wade through.)
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Old 02-04-2015, 18:32   #4
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

Their network is as good as any other. It does have less coverage than Iridium (which seems to have the widest coverage) and Inmarsat (which seems to be second best in this respect).

Where it works, it works alright. Have a good long look at their coverage, correct for some amount of advert -ising, -icing, then buy (whichever product covers your area best).

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Old 02-04-2015, 20:11   #5
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Their network is as good as any other. It does have less coverage than Iridium (which seems to have the widest coverage) and Inmarsat (which seems to be second best in this respect).

Where it works, it works alright. Have a good long look at their coverage, correct for some amount of advert -ising, -icing, then buy (whichever product covers your area best).

b.
As good as any other? Like which one? Besides the two primary other satellite networks which you eliminated.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:07   #6
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
As good as any other? Like which one? Besides the two primary other satellite networks which you eliminated.
You got me.

What I was trying (unsuccessfully) to say was that the network works fine but it is has less coverage than the other two.

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Old 03-04-2015, 12:32   #7
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
You got me.

What I was trying (unsuccessfully) to say was that the network works fine but it is has less coverage than the other two.

b.
I agree that SPOT/GS work OK where GS actually has coverage...trouble is they used to blatantly lie about where they had effective coverage. Dont know if they lie less these days.
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Old 03-04-2015, 17:19   #8
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

I have not used their phone yet, I can't say. I know the smss do get lost at times if the sender is on the outskirts. This much said, I have seen enough trouble with apparently global Iridium or (practically) global Inmarsat to know that all technology has its limitations and we have to live with it.

My friends are using a Thuraya phone here (possibly similar network to Spot) and the phone works fine (Med).

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Old 03-04-2015, 18:45   #9
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

ntscout,
Where did you see about the rebate program? I've tried to find it online but no luck...
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Old 04-04-2015, 00:19   #10
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

I got it via email from spot. Pm me and I will send u the link



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Old 04-04-2015, 07:07   #11
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

So if I understand the responses the answer is that it a good deal if you area going to be in an area with coverage. Is that what people are saying?
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:38   #12
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So if I understand the responses the answer is that it a good deal if you area going to be in an area with coverage. Is that what people are saying?

Sounds like it



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Old 05-04-2015, 11:33   #13
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

But even in areas with coverage the coverage isnt 100%, as friends of ours in the Bahamas discovered. When they did connect, which was most of the time, the call would drop within a minute or two.
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Old 05-04-2015, 14:09   #14
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

ntscout, et al,
First let me say that I'm NOT anti-satellite in ANY way!!!
And, that I love Iridium!!
But, allow me to give you some insight in how some things differ and why these differences may be important to some users...



Quote:
Originally Posted by ntscout View Post
Seems like a great deal if the service quality is there.
The differences between operations of a data burst reporting device, like a Spot device....and a duplex voice device, like a phone (landline, cellular, or satphone), is that while outages, sporadic coverage, signals that are there one minute and not there a minute or two later, etc. cause little problems for the data burst devices, especially when the satellites can do a "store-and-forward" of the data received from the device once the satellite is again in range of a ground station....
BUT...
But, this type of approach is not viable for a voice conversation, such as you have in a phone call....

And, while Iridium uses many satellites and inter-satellite linking, and transfers of calls / data from one satellite to another (just like the terrestrial cellular phone network)....Globalstar does NOT do this, and their satellites (and hence Spot's satellite connection) must be within good line-of-sight view, and significant signal strengths, of you the phone user AND an appropriate ground station, at the same time...so, of course when the signals disappear (either from the phone to satellite or satellite to ground station), the phone call terminates!!

So, sailorboy, unfortunately the answer is no..
As onestep and others have shown, even in areas of supposed good - excellent coverage, actual telephone connections are problematic...
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So if I understand the responses the answer is that it a good deal if you area going to be in an area with coverage. Is that what people are saying?
Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
But even in areas with coverage the coverage isnt 100%, as friends of ours in the Bahamas discovered. When they did connect, which was most of the time, the call would drop within a minute or two.

I'm not saying that a "Spot Phone" or Globalstar phone doesn't work, as if the didn't, they'd never sell any nor actually have any customers.....but just trying to point out the technical facts of why some that say a "Spot device works great, so their phone must as well" are mistaken...

If you can live with occasional service and some dropped calls, etc. even in areas that supposedly have "good coverage", then a Spot Phone might be a usable piece of gear for you....


But, if you are looking for a reliable telephone connection in remote/unserved areas and/or when out offshore / across the ocean, etc. then your choices are:
--- HF Radio (i.e. "Marine SSB" or even "ham radio")
--- Iridium...
--- INMARSAT....





Now, specific to your question regarding Spot's promotion...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntscout View Post
SPOT is running a rebate program where you can obtain a $499 rebate on the phone making it essentially free. They have an unlimited plan for $150.00 per month. Seems like a great deal if the service quality is there.
Even if the service was there, I'm not sure I'm say $150/month is a great deal....at least in my opinion, it's not...
And, since I don't know where you are at, where you are sailing, nor what you need/application is for a satellite phone is, I cannot offer an opinion if this would work for you or not....

But, just assuming you're the typical cruiser or ocean sailor....the answer is, a Spot phone and service will probably be a waste of money/effort for you....
If you need reliable telephone service when out-of-range of terrestrial cellular/mobile networks, and are within 5000 miles of either the US Gulf Coast or US pacific NW coast, or within 5000 miles of the Australian coasts, then you can use marine HF-SSB Radio for both commercial/business calls and personal calls (via Shipcom Radio's WLO/KLB, and the Australian HF-SSB-Radiotelephone network), for cheap telephone calls....($0.99/minute, no phone to buy, nor service to subscribe to)....
HF SSB Radiotelephone Email, Fax, Satellite Marine Messages, Telex Sitor & Marine Weather Services
HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels


Or, you could use HF ham radio for NON-business/NON-commercial calls....for free...

Or, if there is some other specific need for a sat phone, then I'd recommend Iridium.....



Sorry, if this info is a bit dry....and I didn't give 'ya a clear answer.....but the real answer will depend on where you are at, where you are sailing, and what your specific need/application is for a satellite phone....

But, I do hope my info will help you out...


Fair winds...

John


Here is a short video, showing a live, real-world, demonstration, of a Ship-to-Shore radiotelephone call (they also do shore-to-ship calls, offshore and hi-seas weather, HF-DSC, etc.)



For more info/instruction in Offshore Weather, HF Radio, DSC calling, etc. have a look at these Youtube Playlists...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY
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Old 05-04-2015, 14:21   #15
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Re: SPOT Global Phone

Yes, and the iridium go would probably work out less expensive than the Spot as well with unlimited data, but not unlimited calls so it depends if you want something for voice calls or data. ie, the spot seems to be $499 with a $100 rebate and a contract for 12 months at $150, which would total around $2300 for 12 months. The Iridium Go would be $800 and $125/month with no contract and the plan down gradable to standby with a $50 re connection fee, or a $50/month plan to use in emergencies with some included calls and data.
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