Iridium Frequently Asked Questions
Can I send SMS text messages?
Yes, you can send and receive SMS messages. For all our satellite phone options.
What number should I dial for emergency services?
000 is the emergency services number that is designated for emergency calls from all telephone networks in Australia. When calling 000, you will be connected to police, fire, or ambulance. If you are travelling overseas and using your phone, you can call the international emergency number 112 wherever there is Iridium coverage.
Can I use my telephone overseas?
The Iridium network has full global coverage allowing you to use your phone across the globe, on land or at sea. Your Iridium phone will operate at the standard rates within the Australian/New Zealand territory, and outside these areas it will still work however incoming and outgoing calls will be charged at a higher rate.
How many Iridium satellites are there?
Iridium has a constellation consisting of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites (plus 9 in-orbit spares), cross-linked to operate as a fully meshed network. Several overlapping satellites ensure coverage over the entire globe.
Can people call me on the satellite phone?
Yes, however please note you need to have the phone switched on and connected to the satellite system for them to be able to call you. If you are just on holiday, we recommend telling people to call you at set times if they need to call. Something like between 6pm and 7pm when you would normally be camped up for the evening having dinner and can have the phone outside connected to the network.
Is it expensive for people to call the satellite phone?
No, All Rent a Satellite Phones are on local number systems so most calls made to the phones will just be a normal mobile call rate. However, as all phone plans are different please note that some users calls may not be included in their free call allowance or might have a small surcharge.
How to use the Iridium Satellite Phone
How do I make a call with my Iridium satellite phone?
Firstly make sure you are outside away from trees and tall buildings. Extend the antenna into its full position and point it straight up at the sky. Press the power button on the top of the phone. You should see the Iridium splash screen, followed by 'Searching' and finally 'Registered' with signal strength in the top left. Once the phone is registered you are ready to dial. .
How do I call a landline or mobile number using an Iridium satellite phone?
All Rent A Satellite Phone services are on local number systems so to call a mobile you just dial the number as normal. For landlines you just need to enter the state code and then the number.
Sending a text message
To Send a text message go into the Menu and select “Messages” the “Create Message”. Type your message using the multi touch keypad and once complete select “Options” the “Send” then “Add” you can then select the recipient from the phone book or manually enter the number. Please Note: when entering the phone number please use full international format for the number so for the mobile 0412 345 678 you would enter the number as +61412345678
Charging the phone
All phones come with car and wall chargers specific to the handset please note that many mobile chargers do not put out enough power to charge the satellite phones so please use the chargers provided. With the Iridium 9555 phones the charger just plugs into the side of the phone. For the iridium 9575 phone you need to use the charging adapter. This plugs into the base of the phone then the charger plugs into the side.
Using the External Antenna
The external antenna is no more powerful than the built-in antenna however it does allow you to keep the clear line of sight to the satellite that is needed when you are inside a vehicle. Clip the antenna adapter to the phone and screw in the external antenna. Place the antenna on the roof of the car in as clear location as possible. This should provide better coverage while driving. Please Note: if the antenna adapter is still connected the phone will not use the built-in antenna so if the external antenna is no longer required remove the adapter
When you are not using the phone ensure the antenna is stored down to avoid any damage. If you are struggling to get a signal try quickly turning the phone off and on again as the registration process can go into a power saving mode if there no signal for a little while, restarting the phone can just speed things up. Make sure you are in a clear location to get the best signal possible. The iridium satellite do move quite fast so you may star the call with the satellite in front of you but after a couple of minutes the satellite could be behind you and possibly be blocked by something else causing a drop out. Satellite connections can be tricky, to keep the best voice quality try to avoid moving around while you are on the phone. Iridium satellite phone batteries only last for 24-30 hours so if it’s staying on you will want to charge it daily.