Call Satcomdirect.com at the information below. Tell them Vicki from Discovery referred you to them. Let them know you are looking for a unit for personal use. They have plans that are a little more reasonable.
Check http://www.outfittersatellite.com/ I rent from them when I'm hunting in Alaska and in Africa. Unless you have a serious full time need for one, purchasing a satellite phone is not really cost effective...
There are some rates that drop below $1 per min depending on the carrier and if you purchase call time up front. GlobalStar usage is cheaper than Iridium usage but the services vary according to which hemisphere you will be in...
Not sure but I think mine is with Global Star and we get 72min free with our monthly subscription that I think is about 59.00/mo. That program is good for any where in the US except Alaska. We only use it when cell phones won’t reach and have never exceeded the 72 min.
We use them at work. The ISDN connection costs $6 a minute. But in the long run it's cheaper for moving large blocks of data than the slower speed connection - IF you hang it up when the data is finished transferring. Some of our people have rrepeatedly left open connections for lengthy periods and have run up phone bills in the thousands. Oops.
Just remember Gordy, if you can't get a clear spot in the area to see the sky you will have trouble with sat phones too. My bosses used to use them for trips to Africa but didn't like that they had to stand outside to use them.
Nice little fish! Used a Sat phone last year in Canada. Fly-in fishing trip. (Northerns and Walls.) They come back for you in a week. Do not call unless emergency. Propane gas leak in cabin was emergency. Sat phone was absolutely the only method of communication. Catch and release except for the ones you eat. And the RCMP enforces it!