Choosing the best satellite pager depends a great deal on what you need the pager to do. If you only need a telephone number to be transmitted across the paging system, you can get a very simple pager. On the other hand, if you want a pager that will allow text messages, you must choose a company and pager that provides that functionality. Once you have identified your message needs, you can compare satellite pagers based on several different criteria.
First, determine what type of coverage you need your satellite pager to have. For example, if you will only need to receive pages in your city, for example, you will need a local satellite paging service. If you will need to receive messages while traveling, you will need either a regional or national coverage plan. Look for a paging company that offers satellite pagers and subscription plans that will provide you with the coverage you need.
Next, look at the features offered by the different satellite pagers and paging companies. If you want to both send and receive messages, you'll need a two-way pager. Some paging services also include features like e-mail, voice messaging, group paging, repeat paging until a response is received, or page forwarding to another number. You can also find paging services that offer a second paging number so that you can distinguish between senders, or a toll-free number so that callers don't have to worry about dialing a long-distance number.
Compare the customer support from different paging companies. There can be differences in the length of warranties, which provide coverage for malfunction, damage, or loss of the pager. Also find out what kind of technical support you will receive from the company. You might want a company that has customer service available 24 hours a day. Or if you prefer doing some of your own customer service, evaluate the company's website to see if you can change features, research issues, or pay your bills online.
Although many people have switched to cellular phones, for those who need to remain in constant contact — such as doctors or firemen — satellite pagers are still the most reliable option. In an emergency, cellular phone traffic can rise to the point of overloading or blocking the network. Also, a disaster could take out a cellular tower, affecting reception or the ability to make a call. Since they rely on satellites for their functionality, satellite pagers are less likely to experience service interruption.