Your devices will now work anywhere on the planet

Satellite communications company Iridium announced in February the new Iridium GO!, a portable hotspot that runs from the heavens down to your Android or iOS smartphone. While larger than your traditional Wifi hotspot, GO! is just 11.5 by 8.3 by 3.2 cm and weights 295 grams. You can mount it externally — remember that it wll need line-of-sight to the satellites — but it's not meant to be a permanent outdoor solution.

Voice and data are routed through the Iridium GO! app. You'll get about 4 hours talk time, the company says. It's not a dumb data pipe — again, things have to be routed through the app — but Iridium will have an SDK for developers to tie into. Iridium GO1


A Platform

A GO! app on the user's smartphone, laptop or computer enables voice calls, text or the transmission of the user's location in emergency conditions. No special equipment for the user's devices are needed. The unit is designed to withstand rain, sand, dust or rough use, and there's a built-in SOS transmission function.

The rugged unit, called Iridium GO!, connects with a satellite and generates a Wi-Fi zone for up to five devices within a hundred feet. The company, which noted that cellular coverage only applies to about 10 percent of the planet's surface, said GO! eliminates the need for a satellite phone, and works when terrestrial networks are unavailable.

To operate, the user raises the antenna, which turns the GO! device on. This automatically connects the unit to the Iridium network via one of the company's 66 low-orbit satellites and sets up Wi-Fi.


Iridium GO! Brochure  (PDF)

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