Marine Electronics Forum

Boat Phones

Old 10-01-2006, 08:34 PM
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Default Boat Phones

For those of you that have boat phones. Is it like a cell phone? As in you get a service with someone and have a month to month bill. Just curious to know how this works. Thinking about installing one. Thanks in advance.
Old 10-01-2006, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Boat Phones

I wonder if you are talking about satellit telephone technology? This is the most common and reliable service currently used. Inmarsat, Iridium, Globalstar are the three most common systems, and the equiptment varies as do the costs and plans available. There are also rental phones with limited use etc.

The old VHF and SSB radio telephones are pretty much a thing of the past. Sea Smart is a subscription service afilliated with Sea Tow, which uses channel 27 and 28 VHF, and Maritel has a couple of plans for limited VHF frequencies and phone operation offshore. With DSC and specific subscrition services there are some possibilities, but in most places you cannot just pick up the VHF and call a marine operator.

We are considering a satellite phone because we are often in fairly remote areas--so far we have used Ham radio to fulfill our needs, but this has some limitations, and is anything but a direct dial service.

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