Recently, a group of University of New Hampshire nursing students travelled to Ghana, Africa, on a 2 week long humanitarian trip so they could offer their services to area clinics while also promoting health education. The trip was a huge success in that the group assisted with births, immunizations, and even learned about the spiritual side of healing. However, the expedition was also a lesson in worldwide communication and proved how challenging it can be to make a phone call when you are halfway around the world.
In an effort to prepare for the journey, group organizers planned to rent an international cell phone upon arrival at the airport. With little time to catch a van ride to their final destination, the tired travellers were now enduring a seven hour bumpy ride with no cellular communications. Luckily through GlobaFone, they were able to secure a satellite phone rental just a couple of days prior to departure through a personal connection here at our office. The satellite phone became their only means of communication on the long van ride, one in which worried parents back home desperately wanted to know if their kids had safely arrived at their destination.
With free airtime from GlobaFone, the 15 students were able to connect with loved ones with no interruptions, and clear connections. Parents were happy, students were revived with a quick hello from home, and they were able to charge the phone en-route to their lodgings so it could be used again during their stay. In addition, contacts at home were even able to send free text messages right from the East Coast website.
The students eventually did get an international cell phone which provided great rates, but the phone was unreliable since the Ghana government performs power diversions, so electricity is not always readily available. This power restriction can affect not only land lines, but cellular towers as they require a power source. With 30 hours of standby time, the Iridium satellite phone also required charging, but uses a gateway to make phone connections and not a cellular tower. Overall, the students were encouraged they had accessibility to the satellite phone and used it to touch base with contacts in the United States throughout their stay.
The costs for the satellite phone were higher, but its accessibility rounded out the price. So, if you will be traveling abroad and need reliable communications, consider a satellite phone for backup communications. The Iridium 9555 is a great communication tool especially if you want to send text messages. The Iridium 9505a is a little more intricate when it comes to checking voice mail and sending messages, but works just as well as its counterpart. Traveling abroad or planning a deep sea fishing voyage? Visit our website for a complete list of satellite rental phone rates or call 603-346-4184.