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Q:

Rent a Satellite Phone: Globalstar GSP-1700

I'm gearing up for an upcoming trip to the Himalayas, but my family isn’t so psyched for me to go. Should I invest in a satellite phone?

Globalstar     Photo: Courtesy of Globalstar

A:Globalstar is one of the oldest providers, and its ancient spacecraft have been slowly dying off. As of this moment, you can’t get service on the North and South Poles, parts of Africa, or parts of Southeast Asia. But the company’s notoriously spotty service in these places and elsewhere may be over. In August, four new satellites will come online, and several more in the fall.

At 7.05 ounces, the GSP-1700 is the smallest, lightest handset in the field, with four hours talk time, 36 hours standby. Are you serious about backcountry communication? If you buy one of these, you’ll save money just as Globalstar’s network is improving.

PRICE: $499. AIRTIME: around $1.50 per minute. RENTAL FEE: around $80 per week.

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