Iridium Satellite Communications

It’s no secret that people still work on their boats when underway. In several cases, it’s exactly that work that allows people to be on their boats in the first place. So it naturally follows that we need some means of communication beyond cell range. The same goes for data transfers and high-speed internet access. That’s the homeport of Iridium.

Iridium Go!

Satellite Communications You Can Take With You

For more information on Iridium Satellite Communications, click here


With this system, you actually get to use your own devices to connect to the world.

It’s no secret that people still work on their boats when underway.  In several cases, it’s exactly that work that allows people to be on their boats in the first place.  So it naturally follows that we need some means of communication beyond cell range.  The same goes for data transfers and high-speed internet access.  That’s the homeport of Iridium.  

It provides global communications through a constellation of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (476 miles high) Satellites to deliver high quality voice and data connections over the earth’s entire surface, land and sea.  


Sixty-six satellites are cross-linked to provide seamless communications across the globe.

Iridium Go!

Probably the most cost-effective solution is Iridium Go!  A portable satellite-based hotspot.  It allows for connectivity through smartphone apps, and even some desktop apps, to the global network to provide full communication all the time.  It is battery powered with quick connect times.  If you picture what you can do with your Wi-Fi connection at home, think the same way while at sea.  Send photos, files, download weather routing, make phone calls, send text messages, post on social media, send and receive email… it’s all possible. 


The Iridium Go! is a battery-operated device that actually can “go” anywhere.

Use Your Own Devices

The best feature of this system is that everyone onboard can use their own smart devices, whether it's Apple IOS or Android.  As long as it’s in a 100’ (30 m) radius from the device, devices will easily connect.  Because it’s battery powered, it can go anywhere… boat, plane, desert, mountains… name it.  


There are several devices to use, including phones.

Voice and Data Plan

Once you purchase the hardware, such as the Iridium Go! and perhaps an external antenna, you then purchase “airtime” to actually connect.  Plans vary, because like cell service, there are different providers.  The more popular ones are Explorer Satellite, Ocens, Predictwind and Globalmarine.  Depending on your specific needs, choose either unlimited plans or prepaid for a month at a time.  Keep in mind, just like with cellular service plans, with limited plans, you can run out of airtime quickly.  

Whatever the plan, rest assured, it’s not cheap, so don’t go in with the mindset of “well my cellphone plan is X so how much could this be?”  That’s a shortcut to sticker shock.  A typical monthly plan for as little as 10 minutes will be in the area of $54.99/mo, and additional minutes are about $1.50 each. 1,000 minutes will run $929.99/mo, so paying annually is better. 1,000 minutes for the year is $1,495 annually.  

Observations

Frankly, expensive is a relative term.  For a boat that costs over a million dollars, is $1,500/year a lot?  Probably not.  How much is peace of mind worth when you’re broken down in the middle of a transoceanic crossing and help is only a phone call away?  

For more information on Iridium Satellite Communications, click here