Sat Phone – Telstra booster

Exit Forum Forums Kimberley Coast Boating Forum. Mech, Elec and Comms Sat Phone – Telstra booster

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    • #3212
      Mandella II


      Like some other people I’m trying to figure out the best and cheapest way to stay in communication while traveling the Kimberley.

      At the moment I’m looking at Telstra Booster Cel-Fi Go, but I’m not sure if it is worth it, can somebody tell me where we may be able to get reception in the Kimberley.

      I’m comparing Iridium Go to the Inmarsat Fleet One.

      The Iridium Go seems to have the better pricing and plan, but no internet browsing.

      The fleet one offers speed up to 150Kbps and 30MB data included with a fairly expensive monthly plan. I feel the speed and data would not even be enough to open internet banking and weather each day.

      Any advice or experience would be much appreciated.



    • #3213

      Hi Andrea

      I can tell you that there is an Optus tower on Koolan Island and you can get reception from some parts of Talbot Bay.
      You can get Limited Telstra Service south of Hells Gates just out from Waterfall Beach, at the top end of King Sound. There is also a Telstra tower at the top of the Dampier Peninsula. Not sure of coverage range.

      Hope this helps.

      Mark Blechynden.

    • #3214

      Hi Andrea,  Cel-Fi Go has become very popular with the northern commercial fishing fleets, and I have friends with boats in Darwin who have recently installed it. All are happy with it.

      Much of the NT coast has Telstra Mobile at indigenous communities. But as per Blechy’s reply, there is minimal Telstra mobile service in the Kimberley Coast, which limits the value of the Cel-Fi Go in the KC. But from what I’ve heard, it will definitely expand the signal distance from the limited existing Telstra service in the KC. Last year I very briefly got Telstra and received a few text messages on my IPhone near Deception Bay, so that may be another area the Cel-Fi will work.

      Unfortunately, there is no such thing as inexpensive marine satellite data.

      McGowan Island camping ground will let you use their WiFi for a small fee if you need to get on the internet. Phone a friend on a sat phone for a BOM weather forecast verbal update was my main source of weather before I invested in an expensive KVH V3 data system.

      Even if you have the satellite hardware to use marine data system, doing internet banking over marine satellite data will use heaps of data and cost a fortune. Lot cheaper to get the Cel-F Go hardware and only go on the internet when you sporadically get Telstra Mobile reception.

      Cheers, Ross


    • #3215
      Mandella II

      Hello Ross and Blechy

      Thank you for the information, it was very helpful and confirmed my thoughts.

      I think we will go with the Iridium Go and the booster and be without the internet for a while, which won’t that bad either.




    • #3224

      Hi Andrea; Re communication

      We purchase a Garmin InReach Explorer should look it up.

      Small and portable pairs with your phone can be be used for inland tracking, SMS. Seven day weather, cheap data plan very good pice of kit.

      Cheers Simon<!–more–>


    • #3308


      2019 we used an Iridium Go with Predict Wind unlimited data plan. Expensive, but best choice for weather, unlimited SMS, limited free calls, email & tracking. Best decision I made.

      Cel-Fi Go is great, but only if you have coverage which is not very often. Putting a phone in a bag and winching it to the top of the mast with a hot spot turned on works well for patchy coverage.

      Forget about internet browsing. Ask a friend to brows for you and to SMS/email the information to you.

      HF Pactor Sail mail coverage/propagation was very poor in the Kimberly.

      Have a great trip.



    • #3315
      Mandella II

      Hello Simon and Craig

      Thanks for your input, very helpful and much appreciated.
      Yep will go without the internet and will enjoy it!!!


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