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Definition: satellite phone

A telephone that transmits and receives from satellites. Satellite phones (sat phones) provide coverage around the world and are used at sea and in regions where cell service is spotty or non-existent. Starting in the late 1990s, phones became available for voice and texting. Iridium was the first satellite service but Globalstar is the largest. See Iridium, Inmarsat and Globalstar.

Inmarsat Satellite Phone
Shown with the antenna stowed at its side, the IsatPhone 2 is a rugged sat phone for the Inmarsat satellite service. (Image courtesy of Inmarsat Global Limited.)

In the Himalayas
With satellite phone service, medical advice is only a telephone call away, even in the Himalayan mountain range. (Image courtesy of O'Gara Satellite Networks.)