New device gives you Wi-Fi access anywhere on Earth

5 Feb 2014

Iridium Communications has launched its Iridium GO! device which uses satellite communication technology to give smartphone users Wi-Fi anywhere on Earth.

With a decidedly Nineties look to it, the Iridium GO! aims to bring satellite communications into the 21st century by letting up to five people connect to the internet, make phone calls and receive text messages from some of the most hostile environments imaginable.

While satellite communications has existed in the past, it was only available through large, bulky satellite phones that could only transmit voice calls and basic messaging.

However, the new device is not being designed to spend your time climbing Mount Everest playing Words With Friends with family back home as the device is being aimed particularly at people involved in search-and-rescue missions in remote locations, business people and dedicated adventurers.

Ease of access

The device has been designed to be simple to use and works by simply raising the antenna which then automatically connects to the Iridium network and establishes a Wi-Fi connection.  

The user can then log on to an Iridium GO! app on his or her device and then use his or her phone or tablet.

In terms of spec, the device delivers a coverage radius of 100 feet and users can connect devices wirelessly without any special adapters.

The only hindrance to people visiting Russia, such as those descending on Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics this week, is that the network isn’t supported on the standard Iridium device and must be arranged and authorised through Iridium’s Russian subsidiary.

The device is set to launch in Q2 this year and will work on any smart device with a wireless network connection.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic