Cell phone technology has come a long way in the last 20 or so years and it continues to improve every day. Cell phones used to be these pretty big bricks that only made voice calls but now they are sleek and slender smartphones that can pretty much do anything, it all depends on your imagination and your signal. Cell phones require cellular towers to work. The cell phones will connect to the towers via a signal and this signal will vary and sometimes disappear completely. In places where a cell phone will be pretty much useless, you will rather use a satellite phone.
Satellite phones will go where cell phones cannot. A satellite phone will allow you to make a phone call from almost anywhere on earth because its infrastructure is out there in space. Satellite phones do not rely on the signal from the cell phone towers and they will actually beam data directly to satellites that are orbiting the earth.
The technological leap of signals being sent into space unleashes satellite phones from the restrictions of their Earth-based cousin. This is why they are the communication apparatus of choice in areas where there is minimal or no cell coverage like what you will experience when 4x4ing through remote areas of African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, etc. Satellite phones are also common in areas where natural disasters continue to destroy cell phone towers.
When talking about a satellite system, phones aren’t always called phones and they go by another name; terminals. It doesn’t really matter about the name though, they are simply the devices that you need to connect to a satellite.
Terminals will have the same basic phone features as a cell phone. Terminals are bulkier and heavier than cell phones but this does not mean that they have all the capabilities of today’s modern smartphones. A satellite phone is more of a stripped-down phone that will mainly be used to make voice calls.
All our vehicles at South Africa 4×4 come equipped with a satellite phone. During your adventures, you will often encounter areas where there is no cell phone signal. The satellite phone will allow you to make calls to friends that may be in the vehicle ahead of you but the main purpose of this phone will be for use during an emergency. What are you waiting for? Your inner adventurer is bursting to take a 4×4 trip through Africa.