A satellite phone is a type of communication device similar to a cell phone, but instead of sending signals to a land-based cell tower, the satellite phone sends signals to an orbiting satellite. It is useful for communicating where cell phone reception is not possible, though renting satellite phones can be quite expensive. The first step in renting satellite phones is determining what kind of coverage the user will need: some phones are capable of operating anywhere in the world, while others may only work in certain regions.
Once the user has decided what kind of coverage he or she needs when renting satellite phones, it will be important to look into the rates for using the unit. Making calls can get quite expensive, so it will be important to find a plan that will suit the renter's budget. Renting satellite phones with Internet access can also up the price of use, as can text messaging capabilities. Signing up for a contract with text messaging may, however, save the user money in the long run, since it is usually cheaper to send text messages than to make an actual voice phone call. Examining the phone contract when renting satellite phones is perhaps the most important step in the process, both for usability and for budgeting purposes.
Think carefully about how the unit will be powered, how it will be transported, and where it will be taken. If the user will be taking the phone into the wilderness where access to power will not be available, other charging methods will be necessary. A solar charger is a good solution to this problem, though the unit can be bulky and heavy, making it less suitable for a person traveling on foot. The size and weight of the phone may also impact its usability for certain travelers, especially those who will be carrying the unit in a backpack. Finding a unit that is portable and lightweight may be a key consideration for some renters.
Be sure to examine the rental agreement to find out if the renter is covered if the phone is damaged, lost, or stolen. Most companies will charge a replacement fee or a repair fee, though these fees can vary significantly. They are worth examining to ensure the renter will not end up far over budget should an accident happen. Try to do some research into the most durable phones if there is a chance the phone may be damaged.