Choosing the Right Iridium Satellite Phones: Price, Features, and Suitability

Exploring Iridium's Range of Satellite Phones and Accessories

Of all the major satellite network providers, Iridium is the only truly global network thanks to its constellation of 66 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. At Orbital Satcom, we offer a selection of Iridium’s flagship satellite phones and accessories to keep our customers reliably connected from any location on earth. The two pillars of Iridium’s satellite phone line-up are the Iridium 9555 and the Iridium Extreme®. They offer voice calls and data connections from anywhere in the world, and the Extreme comes with built-in SOS functionalities, making it the complete satellite solution for portable off-grid comms. Also running off the Iridium network is the Icom IC-SAT100 PTT, a Push-To-Talk (PTT) radio that can be used in any location with real-time, low latency communication and talkgroup capabilities.

ICOM IC-SAT100 PTT: Reliable Push-to-Talk Communication at an Affordable Price

This waterproof, dust-tight, and durable PTT radio from Icom uses the Iridium network to provide users coverage anywhere in the world. For one a one-off payment (rather than rolling contracts or top-ups on satellite phones) of just over $1,000, it is a handheld radio system that can be used as a communication tool in remote, isolated areas where there is no cellular or landline network infrastructure. Unlike with satellite phones where communication is one-to-one, SAT100 users can communicate with up to 15 other individuals at the same time (if they are in the same talkgroup), allowing for mass comms from remote areas. You can also have private conversations if you wish, and with a battery life of up to 14.5hrs, there can be conversations aplenty on a single charge.

Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone: Robust Communication Solution with Competitive Pricing

The Iridium 9555 satellite phone is highly popular and very widely used, thanks to its simplicity especially when faced with a hectic or unpredictable situation, for example, in the wake of natural disasters or by injured individuals alone in far-flung, isolated regions. It is regarded by many as one of the most reliable satellite phones on the market, and is available from OSAT with very competitive data & minute bundles to purchase alongside the handset itself (handset only can also be purchased). Not only does the 9555 cater for crystal clear voice communication from any location in the world, it also allows users to send SMS and email messages in order to share experiences with friends, family, or colleagues. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that SMS and email messaging are limited to 160 characters and delivery/receipt is dependent on compatibility with local mobile network carriers.

Iridium Extreme® Satellite Phone: Unmatched Performance in the Toughest Environments

The Iridium Extreme is at the forefront of Iridium’s satellite phone solutions. Enormously popular among adventurers and commercial teams alike, the Extreme is rugged, reliable, and a lifeline in an emergency thanks to its built-in SOS element. Virtually identical to the 9555, the Extreme has added tracking and SOS benefits, allowing anyone back home to monitor the device carrier’s position. With the SOS functionality, all the users has to do is firmly press the red button on the top of the handset (concealed under a plastic cap) and an alert will be triggered at the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordinating Center where they will be able to liaise with local emergency responders to negotiate a rescue mission to the precise location of where the alert stemmed from. Because of this added functionality compared to its counterpart, the Extreme retails slightly more expensive, but is worth the extra money if you think you are venturing into hostile or dangerous environments such as warzones or natural disaster relief areas.

Comparing Prices: ICOM IC-SAT100 PTT, Iridium 9555, and Iridium Extreme®

In terms of budgets for any of these flagship Iridium device, you will be looking at parting with $1,000-$1,5000 (ex. VAT and handsets only). The IC-SAT100 is the least expensive of the three devices, coming in at $1,120, while the Iridium 9555 is not that much more expensive. At $1,269, it might be worth considering over the SAT100 because it you will receive more functionality and capabilities for not much more extra expenditure. The gap between the 9555 and the Extreme, however, is more considerable because you will be arming yourself with the lifeline SOS call to a professional team of responders should you need it. At $1,556, you will need to decide whether spending that extra $300 for SOS freedom is worth it.

Choosing the Right Satellite Phone: Price, Features, and Suitability

Before you depart on your next adventure or commercial excursion, you will need to weigh up the need for any of our Iridium satellite phones. Depending on where in the world you are heading, decide whether global coverage is something you desperately need, as well as whether you would prefer your satellite comms to come in the form of a push-to-talk handset or a more traditional handheld phone device that offers not just voice calls but SMS and email options as well. Consider also if you think you will need SOS capabilities, in which case the Extreme is your only option. If not, the 9555 or the IC-SAT100 are two solid contenders for globally-reaching Iridium hardware solutions.

As always, our team of experts at OSAT is here to help. So, if you need any advice about our Iridium satellite phones, contact us via:

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