Choosing a Service Plan
All satellite phone service plans require a SIM card. The small chip is removed from the card and inserted into the phone. SIM cards are not interchangeable among network operators, service providers or service plan types. You will need to pick a service plan to complete your phone purchase or pay later for a SIM card.
There are limited service options compared to cellular plans but the choices can be a little confusing at first. On some plans the per minute fees can add up quickly so it's worth doing a little homework ahead of time. Questions to ask yourself: Start by asking a few more who, what, why, where and when questions about how you plan to use your phone.
- Is this short term, seasonal or year round use?
- Do I want a prepaid or post paid (monthly) service?
- If I plan to use data capabilities, do I prefer to be charged per minute or MB?
- Can a regional plan save me money and cover the area I need?
Each service provider offers their own versions of pre-paid and post-paid plans but they must follow basic guidelines set by the satellite network operators. This means there will be similarities in plan rules and limitations from one service provider to the next.
Restrictions to ask about are:
- Will my unused minutes roll over?
- Is this plan valid world wide or in a specific geographic region only?
- How many months is this plan valid for?
- Do pre-paid plan recharges add expiry days to my balance cumulatively or reset my expiration to the new plan length?
- Can I cancel service early?
- What are the cancelation fees?
Not being aware of the plan guidelines can cost hundreds of dollars in lost minutes, cancelation fees or worse yet, being stranded with an unexpectedly expired plan. There is no forgiveness from satellite operators when customers complain about confusing plans. Make sure you take time to read and understand the fine print.