Pros and Cons of Satellite Phones

You might have heard about Satellite phones when you are in college or while browsing the network. But if you are still wondering about the use and function of the Satellite phones, you have come to the right place. A satellite phone is a mobile device that is used to make communication via satellite signals unlike the radio signals used in traditional mobile communication.

Since it uses the Satellite signals for communication, the Satellite phones can be used where the traditional cell signal towers aren’t available. The Satellite signals are offered by the Outfitter Satellites such as Iridium, Globalstar, Inmarsat, and more. Depending upon the model, some Satellite phones work all around the world while others work on a limited range.

Satellite phones are mainly used by the people who work in remote places or go on a remote adventure trip. In these remote places, a traditional smartphone cannot be relied upon to offer communication, so you need to have a Satellite phone if you wish to communicate with the outside world.

Not all are positive with the Satellite phone, there are some drawbacks too with the use of Satellite phones. In this post, let us see the advantages and disadvantages of using a Satellite phone.

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Pros of Satellite Phones

Communication during emergency

During a natural disaster or other emergencies, the traditional cell towers are overwhelmed, so they don’t work properly. A Satellite phone comes in handy during these times as they don’t rely on the centralized towers for communication. You can contact your loved ones, relatives, health and police services during the emergency time if you have a Satellite phone.

Automatic transmission of location

We don’t like to think, but accidents may happen during your remote adventure trip and a satellite phone will come in handy during this time. While it is difficult to even communicate with traditional smartphones in remote places, you can set up your satellite phone to transmit your GPS data at certain intervals automatically. In addition to being able to communicate in a remote place, this GPS transmission feature will become a lifesaver when you get lost or met with an accident during your trip.

Reliable Communication while traveling

When you are traveling across the country, you might find it difficult to communicate with your family using traditional smartphones. You might lose reception or completely don’t get service in remote places. During these times, you can use a satellite phone to communicate with your family to let them know you are safe. Since the satellite phone relies on the orbiting satellites for transferring signals, you won’t lose service ever by using a satellite phone.

Secure Communication

Many security and government agencies can easily monitor your communication activities when you are using a traditional smartphone. They can even shut down the entire communication to prevent people in a particular area from speaking with others. In these times, Satellite communication comes in handy as government and security agencies have no control over them.

With a satellite phone, no one can easily snoop on your communication. If your Satellite device has a signal scrambler feature, then your communication will become even secure. So to have secure communication, there is none better than Satellite phones.

High-Speed internet

You will get high-speed internet that is not possible with other traditional smartphones by using a satellite phone. Even if you have a smaller satellite phone linked to low earth-orbiting satellites, you will get fast internet speed that is not possible with other devices. If you have a bigger device that is connected to stationary geosynchronous satellites, then you will get data transfer speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Cons of Satellite Phones

Only Basic Functionalities, no extra features

Unlike modern smartphones, you don’t get any extra features like high-quality multiple cameras, stylus support, external memory support, high-volume built-in storage, and more. You can make phone calls and send text messages with a Satellite phone. You get little extra features like GPS, accelerometer, etc with the Satellite phones.

Bulky in Size

Satellite phones are bulky in physical size and weight. They are a little difficult to carry with you during the trip than your regular smartphones. The device along with the antenna makes it difficult for you to carry. Some satellite phones are so big you would need a special case to carry them. If portability is an important factor, then you would be disappointed with the satellite phones. Satellite phones are also not famous for their look as they tend to be less attractive than modern smartphones.

High Cost

A high cost is expected on a Satellite phone. The infrastructure of the satellite phone communication is costlier than traditional tower communication. Also, the components used for satellite communication is expensive on the satellite phone. The charges for making a call or sending a text using a satellite phone are high too when compared to traditional smartphones.

Transmission delay

There is a noticeable delay in transmitting the messages using the satellites, especially the geosynchronous satellites. You would see about a quarter of a second delay in the transmission. You may not think this is not much but there is a delay in each time the signal is transmitted, so you might find it infuriating. Echoes in the background also contribute to this delay in transmission.

Other problems with Satellite communication

Satellites are limited in number when compared to cell towers. So even if there is a fault in one satellite, then you would experience network downtime with your satellite device until the fault is fixed.

The satellite device has a line-of-sight issue. You must point the device in the sight of the satellite without any obstacles or you wouldn’t get a reliable connection. This drawback makes it difficult to use a satellite phone indoors.

Setting and using the satellite device is not easy and straightforward as you would see in a traditional smartphone. You might need some experience in using a satellite phone. Novice users will definitely find it difficult in using a satellite phone.


You might see that the cons are much than the pros of using a satellite phone. This is true for most people. We don’t need a satellite phone unless we live in a remote place or often go on an adventure trip. If you have the budget and you are in need of reliable communication during your trip, then definitely buy a satellite phone.

You would get reliable communication with a satellite phone even in remote places when other forms of communication are impossible. We hope that this article gives you a good knowledge of the pros and cons of a satellite phone.

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