Staying in contact in remote locations

SSH experts Jonny C

SSH experts Jonny C - Credit: Archant

Our shoot is in a remote location with no mobile phone service... how can we get help if there is an emergency? Our expert answers this query

Q: Our shoot is in a remote location in a bit of a bowl. We don’t get any reception there for our mobile phones. If there were to be an emergency, we’d have to drive out to get help. What are our options?

Johnny Crockett replies: There are a number of options. Option 1: you could use a satellite phone. This would cost you about £30 a month plus £400 as a one-off cost for the phone. Expensive but the best solution.

Option 2: you could by a Mi-Fi. The router in your phones is tiny. It can only just pick up signal, but if you use a Mi-Fi, which is the size of a credit card, you can increase the size of the router by up to 20 times. Mi-Fi works like a wifi but is portable. I use one in Scotland with great success. Costs about £100 as a one-off for the box and from then less than £20 per quarter.

Option 3: a relay system using portable hand held radios to someone who always stays where there is signal. Less than £100 as a one-off cost. Sometimes you think there is no signal but 999 calls seem to get through. Whatever you do, I hope you never need it.