top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Saving money using satellite phones

I have offices in the UK and France and would like to give my contacts a single number to call me on, avoiding a mobile if possible to save money. Are satellite phones practical? L.S.

There are two main types of satellite phones. One is used by sailors and mountaineers for example that communicate directly with a satellite. The other works in conjunction with any broadband service, but needs at least a 2Mb speed for clear reception. The first is expensive compared to those working via broadband, which is also known as a VoIP telephone.

Most people that choose a satellite phone have satellite broadband due to the slow speed or non-availability of a landline service, although it is not a requirement. They choose it as the price of renting a satellite telephone number and taking an associated call package is less than a standard monthly line rental charge. They can choose a French or UK number and have the option of keeping their existing French number. You may want to rent both a UK and a French number if that suits your business.

The equipment consists of a small box which you connect between your modem and telephone, or you can buy a full handset with the box built in that connects directly to your modem.

Either way the small size of the equipment makes it portable. This allows you to make and receive calls from any modem, so is ideal if you work in offices in the UK and France. As your telephone number is an ‘internet’ number it will receive calls anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a modem. It has an answerphone that will also work no matter where you are.

One difference between using this type of phone and one connected to a land line is a small delay between when you speak and the other person hearing you.

Similarly you will experience a small delay after they have spoken due to the length of time it takes for the signal to go from the phone to the satellite and then the other person.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France

If you have a query on this topic send it to

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France