Both solar panels and satellite phones are needed if land based communication and electricity is not available or has been disrupted.
Portable solar panels are light and easy to use. You can choose from the rigid solar panel which is about the size of a notebook computer and there are flexible solar panels available that simply roll up and take up very little space as well as weigh near nothing. Portable solar panels include a male cigarette lighter adapter allowing you to charge your satellite phone as long as you own a female cigarette lighter charger. Simply plug it in and position the solar panel in the sun. The time it takes to charger your satellite phone will depend on the wattage of your portable solar panel as well as the intensity of the sun. Other electronic devices like notebook computers will take longer to charge because of the size of the battery. More advanced portable solar panels include their own battery which is charged while the solar panel is in the sun. The battery then can power your satellite phone or other electronic device.
When there is no way to recharge your satellite phone or other portable electronic devices a portable solar panel is worth its weight in gold. People who hike and climb in remote areas many times travel outside of cellular range where injuries are common. Having access to a satellite phone after a major injury from a fall or animal attack can mean the difference between life and death. Light weight solar panels are also part of the emergency plan. A dead battery on a satellite phone makes it no better than a paper weight.
In a catastrophe due to a hurricane or terrorist act local phone and electricity services can be disrupted. Communication that is working may be overloaded. This happened during both hurricane Katrina and after the 911 terrorist attacks. No power, landline or cellular service can stop or slow the equipment and man power needed in the area of devastation. Satellite phones and solar panels do not need access to the local phone service or power grid. Satellite phones can call in and out of an area of destruction allowing full communication when it is needed the most. Solar panels can charge any satellite phone as well as other electronic devices.
Back up electricity for free, as long as you have sunshine.