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Sat phone firms vie for customers

Jan 1, 2003

The battle for hinterland airwaves - wilderness and high-seas satellite coverage - is once again being waged now that Iridium phones are back on the market to compete with Global-star. Iridium's service returned April 1.

The rates, which will see frequent fluctuations in the months to come, were as follows at press time in May, according to Carl Sederquist of Quest Telecom in Ellsworth, Maine:

Iridium model 9500: $500 to $900 for phone purchase, depending on whether the unit is new or refurbished; $50 activation fee; and $1.40/minute.

Iridium model 9505, which is slightly smaller than the other: $1,500 for phone purchase; $50 activation fee; $1.40/minute.

Globalstar: approximately $900 for phone purchase; $25 activation fee; $1.49/minute.