I've been looking if there is an alternative to renting a satellite phone when it's to be used in absolute emergencies only.

As far as my searches showed, most prepaid plans have very short expiration times like a month, and for subscriptions you pay a lot without talking a single minute.

Did I miss something, or is there really nothing with low costs when not used?

1 Answer 1


It sounds like what you want is a personal locator beacon (PLB). They cost about $250, and there is zero cost after you buy it. It's not a phone. It's just a beacon that broadcasts your position so that a search and rescue team can come and rescue you. They're small and lightweight.

Some people use a device such as a SPOT instead. IMO the SPOT is more of an entertainment device, but it does also allow you to do some other stuff besides acting as a beacon. They have a reputation for being unreliable, and I believe they also have a monthly fee.

  • 3
    @HelmHammerhand Please be sure to understand how PLB's work and how they differ from Avalanche Beacons and devices such as SPOT. The reason I am pointing this out is to avoid situations such as this. I encourage you to give this a read.
    – AM_Hawk
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 1:00
  • The article says the person received the device as a gift. I think almost all people who buy such a device themselves will know how it works. I don't think many spend $250+ without reading a few lines about it. That being said, compulsory registration seems like a good idea to me at first glance.
    – helm
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 16:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.