New type of mobile wi-fi hub goes anywhere in the world
Iridium Go uses a satellite network to provide a mobile internet connection anywhere in the world.
Published Saturday, February 8, 2014 8:45PM EST
The Iridium Go is a portable internet hotspot with a difference -- it uses satellites.
This means that as long as the user can see the sky, they'll be able to surf the web, meaning there will be no need to worry about 3G or 4G reception or even about international roaming and different SIM cards.
But as well as an internet data connection, the gadget should also support voice, meaning that you can call home, as well as sending emails, from the middle of the Atlantic or from the top of Mount Everest.
It can support up to five devices simultaneously and has a wireless range of 30 metres, so could be great as a mobile wi-fi hub on a boat or small plane for example. Access to Iridium's satellite network is via an app.
Iridium is currently in talks with app developers with a view to creating apps focused on aviation, navigation, and maritime pursuits that could benefit from this always-on internet connection.
Even without other apps, the device can be used as an emergency notification service, sending the owner's location and coordinates to the emergency services in times of trouble.
The only catch is that internet data transfer rates are currently not that fast. The Iridium Go will support emailing and other online basics but it isn't the best for something like streaming a film or music.
However, Iridium is in the process of boosting its satellite network in order to speed up data connections, and, by the end of 2014, it is possible that a link close to 3G in terms of speed and data transfer could be possible.
Although the company is yet to confirm pricing, the Iridium Go is scheduled to launch in the first half of this year.