Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list frequently asked questions and their respective answers:



1:  How much does it cost to call the Iridium satellite phone?
     Approximately $8.00 to $10.00 per minute. Calling an Iridium phone requires you to place an international call. Every long distance carrier charges a different rate.

2:  How do I return the telephone to PHI Satellite Phones Inc.?
     Your telephone will be delivered to you in a foam-lined container/carrying case. A pre-paid return shipping label will be enclosed. All you have to do is attach the new shipping label to the container and contact FedEx at the telephone number provided for pick up. You may also drop sat. phone off at FedEx/FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinkos). FedEx Toll Free number is 1-800-463-3339.

3:  Is there a deposit?
     PHI Satellite Phones Inc. reserves the right to encumber your credit account the approximate value of the satellite phone and related equipment. This practice is seldom applied, but depending on the destination of the telephone and its intended use, we may believe it's necessary to acquire the security deposit. Should we choose to do so, you'll be informed of that decision before we ship your phone. If we do this, upon return of the telephone, we will withdraw the deposit amount. Many homeowner insurance policies will cover rented equipment world-wide - and many have a $1,000 limit. Please carefully read our Lease Contract before ordering.

4:  How does the Iridium constellation operate?
     The Iridium system is truly "global". When a call on the Iridium system is initiated, the satellite with the best signal to the portable phone will establish the call and then "hand off" the call to as many successive satellites as necessary to route the call to the earth station (known as a Gateway) in the general area of the destination. In other words, if you were calling from Brazil to the United States, the call wouldn't come to earth until the satellite over Arizona established a connection with the USA Gateway. At this time, the call would then be routed along conventional phone lines to where the call was placed.

5:  How expensive is the air time?
     The air time rate for all outgoing calls is $1.65 per minute - regardless of where you are on the globe. Incoming calls are free to the Iridium user, but the person who calls you will pay their long distance carrier for an international call - which can be quite expensive. When we get the telephone bill for air time, in approximately 30 to 45 days after your trip, we will bill your credit card for that amount and send you an itemized statement of air time charges.

6:  What if I wish to dispute the air time charges?
     If you wish to dispute specific air time charges, we will happily credit your credit card account for that amount and apply to our carrier for a permanent credit.

7:  What if I miss a call?
     All PHI Satellite Phones Inc. telephones have Voice Mail at no extra cost.

8:  Will the telephone work inside a building?
     Unlike cell phones, which communicate with a nearby cell site antenna, the satellite telephone actually transmits and receives signals from one of 66 satellites in orbit around the earth. Sometimes the signal may be strong enough to pass through walls and roofs, but the best way to make a call is to be outdoors. Even then, if you are standing next to a tall building which blocks the "line of sight" to the orbiting satellite, the call may not go through. Simply walking around a corner could do the trick.

9:  How much does the satellite telephone weigh?
     The Motorola 9505A Iridium satellite phone weighs about 13.2 ounces with the battery installed, while the Motorola 9555 Iridium satellite phone weighs about 9.4 ounces with battery.

10:  How long does the battery last?
     Depending on actual "talk time", the satellite phone rechargeable battery usually lasts 30 hours on "standby", and about 3.2 hours of talk-time. All PHI Satellite Phones Inc. telephones are shipped with both a wall plug-in charger which works on voltages around the world, and one to plug into the cigarette lighter in automobiles. Therefore, you can have effective use of your global satellite telephone throughout the entirety of your lease period.

11:  How do I get the telephone?
     PHI Satellite Phones Inc. will FedEx the telephone to your billing address a few days before you leave for your trip.

12:  How do I pay for the lease of the satellite telephone?
     When you complete the Lease Contract, we will get approval from your credit card company to charge you the cost of the lease period.

13:  What if I don't have the $1,300 of credit for the deposit left on my credit card?
     PHI Satellite Phones Inc. encourages travelers to use their American Express card for just that reason. You might want to check with your homeowner's insurance company to see if they will provide coverage for the telephone while it's in your possession. If so, you will need to have your insurance company send us proof of insurance, specifically naming PHI Satellite Phones Inc. as the Loss Payee. As long as we receive notification of insurance coverage prior to shipping the telephone to you, we will not encumber your credit card for a deposit. Please read the Lease Contract for complete details.

14:  What if the telephone doesn't work while I'm on vacation?
     If you're in the United States, give us a call. If a replacement telephone is available, we will try to get a new telephone to you overnight. If you're overseas, we will give you a full credit for your rental period when you return the telephone.

15:  What if I damage or lose the telephone, or it's stolen?
     If the satellite telephone is stolen, you will be responsible for all air time charges until such time as you notify us of the loss and we can have the phone deactivated. We will accept the date and time of notification as recorded on our office voice mail. If you lose a battery charger or other component, we will only charge your credit card for the replacement amount. If you lose the telephone or it is stolen, we will charge you the full replacement cost of the satellite phone - Iridium 9505A - $1,300, Iridium 9555 - $1,400. If you damage the telephone, we will charge you for the repair costs, plus shipping, to the appropriate Iridium repair facility.

16:  In what countries will Iridium satellite phones NOT work?
     Hungary, Poland, North Korea, and Sri Lanka

17:  Why can't I turn the phone on?
     Press and hold the red power button (found on bottom left corner of the keypad) for three seconds. Also check to see if the battery is fully charged and properly fitted.

18:  Why can't I make calls?
     Check the antenna: is it fully rotated and extended? Do you have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky? You must be outside, away from buildings, mountains, and overhead trees.

19:  Why can't I receive calls?
     You must have the phone powered on and you must be outside with antenna fully rotated and extended or incoming calls will go to voicemail. You must also have a clear, unobstructed view of the sky.

20:  How do you make a call to the Iridium satellite phone?
     You have to dial 011 + {the satellite phone number}. Example: 011 8816-314-23475. After calling, you will hear a recorded message, "please do not hang up," two or three times. Follow prompts to leave a message.

21:  How do I check voice messages?
     Press the envelope key on the keypad. A prompt will show "Call Voicemail." Press the OK button. A recorded voice will say, "You have entered the Iridium voice messaging system - please re-enter your satellite phone number", {8816 - eight digit number}. As soon as you hear the phone's voice greeting, press the star (*) key. Enter your password, which will be provided on an instruction sheet, and follow the prompts to retrieve your messages.