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Iridium: get your e-mail if there's no wi-fi or cellular coverage

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mobile satellite communications company Iridium is launching a range of services to integrate with other devices.

In particular you can use an Iridium satellite communications device together with your smart phone in areas where you have no wi-fi or cellular phone service.

The Iridium satellite phone will communicate data locally to your Blackberry or other device using wi-fi.

The new service is part of the "Iridium Force" suite of services.

Iridium is also making it easier to embed its communication technology in other products.

The company has launched the "Iridium Extreme", which it claims is the most advanced, rugged satellite handset on the market, and the smallest and lightest Iridium model. It has a GPS, a "SOS" two way emergency communications service, and complies with the U.S. Department of Defense Military Standard 810F for durability.

The "brain" of the phone, the Iridium Core 9523 voice and data module, is designed so it can easily be incorporated into other products.

You can wi-fi enable the phone by plugging in the "Iridium Axcess Point" wi-fi hotpot device, which is expected to cost under $200.

The Iridium service can carry 2.2 to 3.8kbps and typically costs $1.25 per minute, according to the Iridium Wikipedia page.

"Iridium continues its promise to provide tough, dependable, truly mobile devices and services that work reliably everywhere on the surface of the planet," the company says.

'Iridium pioneered the satellite phone industry more than 10 years ago with the first handheld, commercial satellite phone. 'With Iridium Force, we are leading an industry transformation once again by significantly extending the universe of handheld connectivity options.

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