FRO Satellite Phones


The Field Research Office now has a pool of 17 Iridium satellite phones that University of Alberta researchers can borrow from.  Most of these phones are in a special "Grab & Go" Emergency Kit, contents are as follows:

Iridium handset, AC travel charger, international plug kit, battery, hands free headset, user guide, quick start guide, antenna adapter, antenna portable auxiliary, DC car charger, leather holster, USB-mini USB cable, CD-ROM Iridium data, spare battery, solar charger foldable, Pelican 1400 carry case (orange), laminated quick reference guide

The purpose of providing a pool of Iridium Satellite Phones for campus-wide use is to assist field researchers to provide  communication devices to those working in remote locations where cellular coverage is not effective.

Terms of Borrowing Satellite Phones:

Notice Requirement:  1 week notice during the summer season (April 1 – September 30) and 2 weeks notice during the winter season (October 1 – March 31).

Rental Fee:  $30.00 weekly. These charges are based on cost recovery only. 

Late Return Charge:  Please note that if the phone is not returned when you have indicated, your Speed Code will be automatically charged a daily rate of $30.00/day  until the phone is returned to the Field Research Office. Failure to return phone on expected return date may impact further abilities to rent.  You may choose to extend your borrowing, however, you must go through the request process again, filling out another form, etc.

Airtime/Usage Charges:  Incoming calls and texts are free, however, airtime/minutes will be charged to the Speed Code.  

Damage or Loss of Phone, case or contents of kit:  Notification to the Field Research Office within 24 hours is required if there is significant damage or loss of the phone. The phones are not insured if lost or damaged and  Departments or the responsible Principal Investigator will be charged the full replacement cost of the phone in addition to any charges that are made on the phone until you notify the Field Research Office.

Stolen Phone:   Report the incident to the local police department and forward a copy of the police report to the Field Research Office immediately as the SIMS card will have to be deactivated to protect personal information. There is University insurance available should the phone be stolen and if you have diligently exercised care to lock up the phone to avoid theft. However, there is a large deductible ($1,000) which will be the responsibility of either the department or the investigator.

Allocation of Phones:  The Field Research Office will try to equally distribute the satellite phones between department and researchers. Please put in a realistic borrowing time.  The Field Research Office will not accept season-long phone bookings. There are a limited amount of satellite phones which are to be shared campus-wide.

Approval of Satellite Phone Request: You will be notified within 72 hours by email whether your request has been approved.

Procedures for requesting a FRO Satellite Phone:  

  1. Complete the online FRO Satellite Phone Request Form in its entirety. Feel free to call FRO (780-492-8981) with questions.  
  2. Await a confirmation email with 72 hours of your request from FRO advising that a phone is available and your booking has been secured.  Based upon the information you submitted in the on-line form, you will be provided with a populated Satellite Phone Request Form.  Print this off and obtain signatures from authorizing Principal Investigator/Researcher and a one-over authorizing signature. 
  3. Bring your signed Satellite Request Form to the FRO office (CCIS, 1-091) during the normal working hours – see FRO Contact information
  4. Return your phone on the date you have indicated.  If you wish to extend your booking, submit another FRO Satellite Phone Request form conforming to the notice requirements and await confirmation of booking from FRO.  Note you will be charged $30.00/day from the date of the “expected time in” date unless you have received a confirmation of extending booking from FRO.
  5. Post-return Inspection – FRO will inspect the satellite phone and the contents of the Grab N’ Go Kit for damage and/or missing items and a sign-off on the inspection will be required.  
  6. FRO will send a Summary of Satellite Rental Charges via email usually one month of returning the phone detailing the charges to your Speed Code for the cost of calls placed,  as well as any other charges incurred due to late return, damage, etc.  

Iridium Videos





Useful Links

Iridium Satellite Phone User Manuals (chose model 9555 or Extreme)

Iridium Quick Start Guides (choose model 9555 or Extreme)

Taking your Satellite Phone to Russia

Contact Information - Roadpost