Do Sat Phones Work Anywhere In the World?

Can I use a sat phone anywhere in the world?

Since sat phones do not rely on any ground-based technology to receive a signal, theoretically they should work from anywhere on Earth – right?

Although these marvels of modern technology do work virtually anywhere, there are some locations where you might not be able to use your sat phone or satellite push-to-talk system.

Locations Where Satellite Communications Might Not Get Signal

Although there aren’t many places where a satellite signal won’t reach, those locations do exist.

Some of the world’s deepest caves – like the Krubera Cave in the country of Georgia – can prevent signal from getting through. Some locations in South America, India,  and New Guinea intentionally block all communications signals to protect uncontacted indigenous peoples who live there. Finally, certain depths of the world’s oceans won’t allow a signal to penetrate.

We are probably safe in assuming that few sat technology users will ever encounter any of those locations. However, there some more common areas that you might find yourself without signal. Sometimes a tall building or really substantial tree could block your connection with the satellite, but solving that problem is as simple as moving a few feet one direction or another.

Locations Where Sat Phones Are Not Allowed

Some countries have restrictions on the use of satellite communication technology. Others ban sat phones completely.

China is among the most notable locations where you are not legally able to even possess a sat phone, let alone use one. China also frowns on GPS devices and blocks access to many portions of the internet.

In Cuba, you may be able to have and use a satellite communications device but you need to obtain a permit from the country’s Ministry of Informatics and Communication. You must also obtain approval to possess or use one in Russia. You can be arrested and put in jail for having one in North Korea, Bangladesh, Libya, and Chad. In India, you could be arrested if you have a device that uses any network other than Inmarsat.

The list of countries where you might not be able to use your device changes frequently, as ruling parties and regimes change. Some countries that have undergone recent changes in their communications laws include Myanmar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Sudan. Before you travel to any international destination, it’s a good idea to look into that country’s laws and regulations on communications devices.

Do All Satellite Networks Have the Same Coverage?

The last factor that might affect where you can and can’t use your sat device is your network. Not all networks offer the same range of access. The right network for you depends on where you plan to use your device most often.

The Iridium network has virtually complete coverage around the world. Inmarsat is a close second, with spotty coverage in polar locations. Ligado is mainly limited to the North American region.

The International Satellite Services Inc. team of experts has an exhaustive knowledge of satellite phones, push-to-talk systems and networks. We can recommend the best equipment, network and plan to meet your needs, wherever you need to stay connected. Contact us today to learn more about sat phones and the power of satellite communication technology.