Iridium has introduced Iridium Go, a portable hotspot which, uniquely, uses satellites to provide connectivity anywhere in the world.
Iridium Go will enable voice and data communications on mobile devices. It connects to smartphones and tablets, extending voice and data coverage when they are out of cellular-network range.
Iridium Go will support up to five devices at a time, and will allow you to make calls, check email, send texts and use apps. The hotspot's Wi-Fi network has a radius of 100 feet. This functionality is especially useful if, say, you're climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. You can stick Iridium Go in your bag and travel around, worry-free.
Features include an antenna, which turns on the device and connects to Iridium's satellite network to establish a Wi-Fi connection, and an Iridium Go app for devices. The app lets you use data and provides a location point for emergency services in case of an accident.
It also has a platform for developers, thanks to Iridium Go's developer program with open access to APIs.
App makers can utilise Iridium's satellite network, broadening the capabilities of their new products even further. Iridium.com has an Iridium Apps section, for instance, with apps from companies already making use of Iridium's satellite network within their maritime, aviation, outdoor recreation and enterprise solutions.
Iridium Go will launch in the first half of this year through select partners. Pricing has yet to be revealed. The Iridium Go developer program will be commercially available in the second quarter of 2014.