Call from Anywhere. SPOT launches Satellite Phone for Outdoors

It weighs just 7 ounces and is 5 inches tall. The phone body is made rugged for the outdoors. Announced today, Spot LLC will start selling a satellite phone for $499 this week.

(See more images of the new SPOT Global Phone on this page.)

SPOT has long been known for its satellite messenger products. We’ve used them for years at GearJunkie all around the world. The new phone product relies on the same satellite constellation owned by Globalstar Inc. (which is Spot LLC’s parent company).

spot sat phones.jpg

SPOT Global Phone

Called the Global Phone, the unit offers voice communication, text messaging, voicemail, and 911 emergency calling around the world.

The “911” option is via the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center. (You dial 9-1-1 to connect to a rescue center that can coordinate help in your current locale.)

The company touts affordability, better voice quality, as well as a portable and easy-to-use form factor with the new phone. It will soon be widely available online and in stores at retailers around the U.S. (see list below).

The phone has an optional data kit to connect it to a computer, letting you get online to check and respond to emails, upload photos, or post to Facebook from deep in the wilderness.

It is tested to work in temps from -40 to +185 F. The Global Phone display is an LCD screen with volume, signal, and battery indicators. Official phone size is 5.3“H x 2.2” W x 1.5“D.

spot coverage areas.jpg

Satellite phone coverage area

The battery will last for 4 hours of talk time (36 hours on standby) before it needs a recharge.

Calling plans start at 25 cents a minute (and $149.99 for monthly unlimited voice) when the phone goes on sale this month online and at retailers now including REI, Cabela’s, West Marine, Eastern Mountain Sports, Gander Mtn, Bass Pro Shop, and Sportman’s Warehouse.

Stay tuned, as next week I am heading out of the country with a SPOT Global Phone in hand. The test begins on May 22nd in the Middle East, where I will be trekking and visiting remote sites on an adventure through Jordan. I will be dialing the sat phone, calling in soon to talk from the remote desert sand!

—Stephen Regenold

See additional images of the new SPOT Global Phone on next page. . .

Posted by Jack WE TAN - 05/13/2013 05:56 PM

Sound cool. But will this be available in Malaysia or Singapore after? Please advice. Thanks!

Posted by PaddlingOtaku - 05/14/2013 08:22 AM

Pricing info? Planning an expedition and was planning on renting a sat phone. very interested.

Posted by dan - 05/14/2013 08:31 AM

Why wouldn’t they incorporate the tracking features from the Spot in this new phone? It would be nice to reduce gadgets not add another for safety and security. Already having a dedicated sat phone and a spot, there is no incentive to upgrade.

Posted by Editor - 05/14/2013 01:10 PM

More info on pricing and the product is here www.FindMeSPOT.com/GlobalPhone & www.FindMeSPOT.com/Plans

Posted by AK survival - 05/14/2013 07:22 PM

I suggest those planning to travel in Alaska avoid relying on Globalstar. In my experience the coverage map is dangerously optimistic.

Posted by tricky2000 - 05/16/2013 12:47 PM

This is nothing more than a rebranded Globalstar Gsp-1700 which I can get for less money on Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Globalstar-GSP-1700-Satellite-Phone-Silver/dp/B000O9FS1I
And as far as I can tell the pricing plans are the same as what Globalstar sells directly;
http://www.globalstar.com/en/index.php?cid=1250
So what is new other than its now being sold under the “Spot” brand name?

Posted by SPOT LLC - 05/17/2013 11:59 AM

We decided to add a satellite phone to the SPOT family of products because our customers wanted readily accessible and affordable satellite voice technology. Under the SPOT name, now anyone who wants to stay connected can do so. SPOT Global Phone and Globalstar both use the industry’s first 2nd generation satellite network, which was completed only a few months ago. So either one will give you superior call quality. If you would like more information SPOT Global Phone or SPOT in general, chat with us on Facebook.com/spotmessenger

Posted by Colin - 05/17/2013 12:59 PM

FYI on the 911, I’ve seen GEOS reliability called into question: http://www.wildsnow.com/8245/spot-inreach-satphone-review-delorme/ (Check the comments.)

Posted by Ernesto George - 05/17/2013 03:50 PM

It will rely on the same satellite network used by Globalstar? Ho-ho-ho.Down here in South America, you can hardly use the sat phone… most of the time, my phone can’t get a connection. I have thrown it to the bottom of the drawer and bought an Iridium. Now I am talking.

Posted by David - 05/21/2013 01:43 PM

Had 3 SPOT devices fail and stop transmitting all togerher.

Suspect their phone and “new” network will be just as bad.

Posted by Timothy - 05/22/2013 12:39 PM

Anyone trusting the Globalstar Network with their lives is making a mistake, far from global coverage, old worn out satellites and no funding to launch newer ones – with my life it’s Iridium and nothing else

Posted by AZ trekker - 05/22/2013 03:01 PM

After having a few of the SPOT tracking devices fail on me, I’m not sure I’d be willing to trust any SPOT products with my life. I’m frankly amazed that SPOT never recalled all those 2nd generation trackers with all the post-battery-replacement failures they had.

I’ve used Iridium sat phones on expeditions in all conditions all over the Northern Hemisphere, and they just keep going. That’s what I’ll continue to use.

Posted by Nick Collins - 05/29/2013 04:02 PM

I believe The SPOT phones were made 7 years back, in 2006, and does not provide GPS or tracking service.

One large retailer of the SPOT (Globalstar) phone states in its description:

“Works virtually anywhere in the world. Comes standard with a local telephone number (no international charges). Automatic international roaming.”

Could someone please comment on these questions?

First, while the phone does work in some countries overseas, I believe there are several places around the globe where Globalstar (SPOT phone) does not either provide coverage, or have roaming for US-based subscribers [some examples are South America, most of Central and Southern Africa, northern parts of Russia, significant parts of Alaska, Hawaii, many places in Asia, deep Pacific and Atlantic oceans etc.. ]

Second, I believe the telephone numbers are local only to those who live near one of the 4 US based gateways (Florida, Central Texas, Wasilla, and Puerto Rico).

Third, courtesy of www.globalstar.com roaming is unavailable to Globalstar (Spot phone) customers when traveling to the following countries and the surrounding ocean areas: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.

Fourth, I believe roaming charges are incurred by US-based subscribers. When traveling internationally, (outside the Home Service Area), roaming fees are incurred generally at $1.39/minute on top of the monthly fees that customers pay.

Posted by John Snow - 06/07/2013 04:07 PM

I love the idea of the SPOT line of products, but their customer service is terrible. They continued trying to charge me for SPOT annual service for two years after I cancelled (after fulfilling my initial 1 yr contract). No matter how many “supervisors” I spoke to, no one could cancel it. They kept saying they couldn’t cancel it going forward, because I “owed” money on the account and they couldn’t credit back the past unused service because the account was still active. I eventually worked my way up the managerial chain to someone who made the whole problem disappear in a matter of minutes. Too bad it took several months of phone calls to get to that person. All their front line customer facing people are terrible and powerless.

Posted by Matt - 09/09/2013 10:40 AM

Globalstar has an uphill battle rebounding from their bad network reputation from the last 5 or so years. They are apparently making a comeback with their new satellites but they will have to prove themselves with consistent, reliable service coverage to compete with Inmarsat and Iridium. It wasn’t too long ago that an end user of a globalstar phone would have to log onto a specific website to see when they could use their phones, it depended on the time of day. I recommend to my friends and family, the isatphone pro by Inmarsat, retails for under $700 and the monthly service is affordable, about $20/month. These phones work. No technology is perfect, but Immarsat has a very reliable geosynchronis satellite network.

I recommend these guys. http://www.issi-us.net/products/isatphone-pro/

Posted by Sherman - 12/12/2013 03:08 AM

Where do I find more designs of the global phone?

Sherman International rental phone
http://globalcellularrental.com/

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