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Iridium is the world's only truly global mobile satellite communications company, with voice and data solutions covering every inch of the Earth's surface.
Iridium Connected solutions combine innovative, industry leading Iridium core products with the industry and application-specific expertise of Iridium’s global ecosystem of value-added partners.
Iridium's 66 low-Earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites – the world's largest commercial constellation – operate as a fully meshed network that is supported by multiple in-orbit spares.
Reaching over oceans, through airways and across the Polar Regions, Iridium solutions are ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities.
When to choose Iridium
In a comment to a comparative test between Inmarsat, Thuraya and Iridium satphones, a reader made a comment, which makes you think twice. He wrote:
If my life depended on it I go with Iridium hands down, the fixed satellites of ISAT Pro can be blocked from my line of sight while an Iridium satellite will move over me, people will say ya Isat is cheaper then I say "what's your life worth"?
He was pointing to the fundamental difference between Iridium and the two other main contestants:
Thuraya and Inmarsat have relatively few satellites, which are geo-stationary, i.e. staying over the same location at all times. They follow the Earth and leave a fixed footprint within which they offer coverage. If you move outside those areas, you lose the connection, like on a cell phone. See the map to the right.
Iridium has a different approach
Iridium is fundamentally different. They have more than 50 satellites, which sweep the globe in a rotating grid. They move above your head, and when one satellite is moving away from you, the next one is approaching and taking over, seamlessly. This is a more advanced and expensive solution, and it works in a superiour way - even on the poles where, no other carrier operates. The downside is high costs for development and maintenance, costs which need to be covered by the customers.
In a worst case scenario, you may be stuck in your tracks and the view to a Thuraya satellite may be blocked by a mountain, a building or a tree. With an Iridium phone you just wait until the next satellite comes your way and picks up your signal. That could mean one more life saved.
So the answer to the question in the headline could be: When your life depends on your ability to call for help.