This avoided security inspections of the phone and us for having it, saved us the weight in our hand luggage, and kept us from purchasing a phone we would have limited use for when we returned home.

Overall Impression Traveling through Botswana , South Africa and Zambia for five weeks of game viewing adventures, we were thankful to have Iridium connectivity and a Motorola 9500 Satellite phone. It worked almost everywhere we tried it as long as it had clear access to the sky to receive the satellite signal. In remote camps without phones or Internet service, it was the only way to stay in touch with work, family and friends. One of our group members, who had a relative undergoing medical treatment in the U.S. , was particularly thankful for the ability to stay in touch the Iridium Motorola phone provided.

Because most of the camps restricted nighttime mobility for guests for safety reasons (wild animals roamed free), we quickly learned to make calls during the day. Making domestic and international calls was as easy and clear, except for a slight delay, as using a landline or portable phone.

For us, renting the phone in South Africa was the best option. We picked up the phone from a Globalcom representative when we arrived in Johannesburg and returned it just before leaving. This avoided security inspections of the phone and us for having it, saved us the weight in our hand luggage, and kept us from purchasing a phone we would have limited use for when we returned home.

Battery : Lithium ion

List Price $900

Manufacturer-Distributor : Motorola

Release Date November 1998

Rental Fees Costs varied. Favorable per minute charges in Africa started at 99 cents a minute for connect time, some of the least expensive connectivity we found even when compared with cellular phone service.

Satellite Connection The satellite connections for the phone were provided by Iridium Satellite LLC.

Size 7.6” long x 2.44 wide x 2.66 deep

Stand By Maximum 16 hours

Talk Time Maximum of 2 hours

Technology Connected via 66 low earth orbiting (LEO) Boeing operated satellites at an altitude of 780 kilometers, Iridium provided voice and data connectivity in remote areas. Special satellite telephones were required.

Type Of Product Satellite phone

Weight 16 ounces

Features Visual/audible: 4×16 character illuminated graphic display, 32-digit number capacity, 16-digit name tag, multiple language choice for prompts, key pad cover, illuminated key pad, battery meter, low battery warning, status review of features; 10 dedicated control keys; visual display of volume level settings; clock; and removable satellite antenna

Call related: VibraCall alert, selectable ringer tone (10 choices), selectable keypad tone (3 choices), volume adjustment, auto redial notification (system busy), clear last digit/clear all digit, international key sequence (+ key), Quick Access Interphase, and unanswered call indicator

Memory: Phone numbered memory (100 locations), SIM card (155 locations), alpha name storage (recall by name or location), last 10 numbers dialed, memory scroll by location number, and one touch dialing

Usage: Electronic and automatic lock, display/change unlock code, display call timers, programmable audible timer, automatic display call timer, call restriction options and data capability (enquire about software and hardware requirements)

Globalcom Limited Iridium Service Provider/Value Added Manufacturer/Value Added Reseller, Inmarsat & Thuraya Service Provider , Officialsub-Saharan agents for Inmarsat equipment manufacturer Nera, VSATService Provider Iridium repair centrerun byLipton Griffin International, official authorized Motorola distributors and repair centre in Africa.

Other Meetings with customers were possible once an order was placed

Countries Tested Botswana , South Africa and Zambia

Date Of Review June 2004

Number Of Days Tested Five weeks

Service The phone came with 24-hour/7 day a week support service on a toll free line. Charles Barber, our Globalcom Limited customer representative, was wonderful. We coordinated the rental dates and terms with him via email before we arrived in South Africa . When we arrived, he met us at our hotel near Johannesburg International Airport to deliver the phone and explain how to use it. We greatly appreciated his going the extra miles (the company offices are in central Johannesburg ) because we only had one afternoon in town. When we left South Africa , we spent only a few hours in the Johannesburg area. The same day we called, Charles braved Johannesburg ’s horrific traffic to pick up the phone right before we raced to the airport to catch our international flights.

Would You Use This Product Again? Yes


Contact Information

  • Address :
    • Globalcom Limited
    • #G1,Pinewood Square,
    • 33 Riley Road
    • Woodmead, 2191, RSA
  • Phone:
    • +27 11 612 3661
  • Fax:
    • +27 11 234 7383
  • Website:
  • Email: