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Price plans, questions about usage

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  • Price plans, questions about usage

    Hi Everybody,

    We are thinking of changing our Globalstar phone to the Garmin inReach one. One of the main reasons is cost as the phone is really used just for the in case scenarios. I have a few questions about the plans they have.

    From what I understand, there is an annual activation fee. From what I see it's $29.95 canadian a year. What we want to do is leave the phone at our camp trickle charging on a 12v battery so everybody will have access to it. How do the fees work. We usually go up from May until October.

    Do we get charged the monthly fee when we use it? ie: send a text (or preloaded text) or make a call to somebody and that is when the fee charge starts. (This would be the ideal way)

    Do we need to have it activated before we go up to the camp and then we get charged?

    After the month is over, will the fee be deactivated until next usage.

    If we take a yearly plan, will the phone number always stay the same?

    Thank you in advance for any help in these inquiries


  • #2
    It is not a phone, it is a communication device that sends and receives messages.


    • #3
      As TrippyZ says, inReach is not a satphone. It sends and receives text messages only. It does not have a phone number or an e-mail address.

      The device can send text messages outbound to cell phones (in most locations) or e-mail. Cell phones which have recently received a message from an inReach device can reply directly, just as they would to any SMS message. An e-mail recipient cannot reply by replying to the e-mail. E-mail messages from an inReach device contain a link to a web site from which the e-mail recipient can reply. inReach devices can also send and receive directly to/from other inReach devices.

      In addition, your subscription includes a "MapShare" page from which people to whom you grant access can send messages to your device. Your MapShare page can be password-protected.

      The whole point here is to prevent unsolicited messages to your inReach - because you pay for every message sent or received by your device.

      Current Canadian plans are (as far as I can tell) described here. These are different from legacy Canadian plans provided by Roadpost, fka inReach Canada. Although there are some tricky things in the fine print, the basics are fairly straightforward.

      All plans become active as soon as you sign up. Any initial fees are payable at that time. After that, all plans are billed monthly.

      Annual plans require a 12-month commitment. There is a one-time activation fee. After that, you pay the flat monthly plan fee plus any overage charges. I can't tell from the description whether or not annual plans auto-renew at the end of 12 months, but I suspect they do. You can move to a more expensive plan at any time at no charge. Changing to a less expensive plan incurs a one-time fee.

      Monthly plans require a 30-day commitment. There is an annual plan fee. After that, you play the flat monthly plan fee plus any overage charges. Monthly plans do auto-renew monthly. You can suspend or reactivate the plan at any time, at no charge. However, each time you reactivate the plan, you incur a minimum 30-day commitment. That is, you are charged for one full month for each reactivation. Once (re)activated, you must suspend the plan before 30 days elapse or you are committed to another full month. You suspend and reactivate the plan manually via the web site. You can move up and down among plans at any time at no charge.
      -- Tom
      inReach SE, inReach Explorer, PN-60WSE, Colorado 400t, Nuvi 2555LMT


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies.I understand the monthly rates and the activation process. I would like to know if I'm say somewhere where there is no phone. Is it possible to activate my monthly charge from the inReach phone wherever I am? Or do I need to activate it before I go to the area where there is no phone coverage? I ask as sometimes you may forget before going up. As mentioned the phone will stay at the camp and will really be only used for emergencies.


        • #5
          Plan must be (re)activated from the web site AFAIK. The device has no satellite service unless it has an active plan. Navigation features work, but satellite messaging does not.
          -- Tom
          inReach SE, inReach Explorer, PN-60WSE, Colorado 400t, Nuvi 2555LMT


          • #6
            You can also subscribe to a plan here

            They also have daily or weekly bundles. You do have to activate before you go out via the internet and there is a yearly subscription fee of €79.($98)

            They include a personal an email address, so you can send & receive emails directly to the explorer+. Very nice option over the garmin service.

            Sms is less reliable, since the cellular networks are often the bottleneck. When sending sms messages from abroad, I often experience on my regular cellphone the are send or received multiple times, not at all or have a big lag in delivery. So this is probably not related to the Garmin device or sattelite service.
            Email is way more reliable in international traffic and the way to go IMO.

            As I read online the GPS function only seems to work after sattelite activation, so I don’t know if you need a current active bundle, but it seems you have to activate via the sattelite service first to use GPS navigation.

            Anybody knows if they are working on a gen.2 version with built in Garmin maps support and bigger internal memory or SD support?
            That’s a big drawback on the device. I love the rest of the functionality, but GPS maps is kind of mediocre at best.


            • #7
              Generally speaking, you should use the provider/reseller which covers your geographic area. Most providers will require the billing address to be within their covered area.

              GPS itself works without activation. Messaging, tracking, and anything else that requires the use of the Iridium network requires activation. I am unsure about navigation - route following or navigating to a waypoint - without an active subscription.
              -- Tom
              inReach SE, inReach Explorer, PN-60WSE, Colorado 400t, Nuvi 2555LMT