Iridium Satellite Network Overview
Iridium Satellite Network Overview

Overview and Coverage

The Iridium System is a satellite-based, wireless personal communications network providing a robust suite of voice and data services to virtually any destination anywhere on earth. The Iridium Satellite System enables remote communication solutions for vertical markets that include: Maritime, Construction, Aviation, Oil & Gas, Mining, Government, Leisure Travel, and Disaster Relief Organizations. Iridium is the world's only truly global mobile satellite telephone and paging service. Featuring handheld phones weighing less than one pound, global coverage is provided by 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites, which allows users to make and receive calls virtually anywhere in the world, all you need is a clear line of site to the sky.

The Iridium system is comprised of three principal components: the satellite network, the ground network and the Iridium subscriber products. The design of the Iridium network allows voice and data communication to be routed virtually anywhere in the world. Voice calls and data transmissions are relayed from one satellite to another until they reach the satellite above the Iridium Subscriber Unit (handset) and the signal is relayed back to Earth.

All Iridium portable phones are shipped data ready. Iridium mobile handsets enable data connectivity with a PC through a standard serial cable connection and a custom handset connector (custom connector sold as part of data kit).

Upon activation, all Iridium units are assigned an International phone number. The country code 8816 is reserved for Iridium, and each Iridium unit is assigned an 8816-xxxx-xxxx phone number. You may call an Iridium unit by placing an international long distance call to country 8816 followed by the eight digit phone number assigned to the unit by Iridium. The caller pays for the international call to country 8816. The incoming call to the Iridium subscriber is free. However, most long distance carriers charge a very high per minute rate for calls to country code 8816. A more cost effective option is called Two Stage Dialing. With Two Stage Dialing, a the caller places a call to a U.S. telephone number, and then provides the international phone number. The call is then routed to the Iridium phone. The caller pays long distance for the U.S. call and the Iridium user pays the per minute rate for the incoming call. Two Stage Dialing is typically less expensive than a direct call to country code 8816.

The newest Iridium product, and the next generation in Iridium's line, is the Iridium GO!™. The Iridium GO!™ is unlike anything the world has seen before. Powered by the world's furthest reaching network, this compact, rugged and portable unit creates the first ever reliable global connection for voice and data communications on up to five smartphones or tablets.

The newest Iridium handset is the 9575 Extreme™. The Iridium 9575 is toughest and most powerful satellite phone Iridium has made to date. It is also lighter than previous Iridium handsets. This phone has been engineered to withstand the world's toughest environments, and it works anywhere on the planet. The phone itself has a new streamlined, hand-friendly design, and is packed with new, innovative features. It features improved SMS and email messaging capabilities, an SOS button, GPS functionality, Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 65, upgraded Mini-USB data port and a dramatically redesigned and amazingly intuitive user interface.

The Iridium 9555 is compact, light, and easy to use but with industrial-grade ruggedness. This model is similar in size and function to the 9575 Extreme™ satellite phone, but with fewer features than the 9575 Extreme™.

The US-made Iridium 9505A satellite phone offers proven reliability and industrial-grade design for use throughout the globe by the most demanding customers. This product is manufactured in the United States and continues to be available for commercial and government customers. The US-made 9505A features a solid as-molded design with hardened keypad, rubber overmold grip, and removable articulating antenna for use in the toughest environments.

Iridium is the world's only truly global mobile satellite telephone and paging service. Featuring handheld phones weighing less than one pound, global coverage is provided by 66 low-earth-orbiting satellites, which allows users to make and receive calls virtually anywhere in the world, all you need is a clear line of site to the sky.

Coverage Map
Iridium Coverage Map

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