Iridium Satellite Connectivity Made Simple
So you’re an owner, operator or pilot of a business aircraft without an international satellite telephone?
Do not despair. This article will help you select the right satellite telephone and data service for all your needs.
It’s easier than you may think…
*If your aircraft already has an Iridium satellite telephone read How Do I Wire My Iridium Data Port.
Why do I need a satellite telephone?
Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t make a simple phone call to your wife and kids during a flight?
What is there’s an emergency at home and no one can reach you?
What if an important business deal is held up because you’re offline for the next four hours?
In today’s increasingly interconnected world we are expected to stay in touch at all times. And we want to. This means remaining contactable by your family and friends, and extends to the realm of business where real-time communication with colleagues and clients is more critical than ever.
The rise of Instant Messaging and social media has created a dynamic messaging society that lends itself further to the importance of staying connected wherever we fly.
There is an overabundance of ways to connect on the ground, for example SMS, IM, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype etc.
This simply does not translate when we board a flight and ascend to 45,000 feet. What we really need is the peace of mind of keeping in touch inflight no matter the circumstances.
You can achieve this peace of mind with an international satellite telephone.
What satellite phone should I select?
When it comes to choosing a Satcom provider for your aircraft there are some options, some more suitable than others and certainly not all equal. The three main companies are Iridium, Inmarsat and ViaSat.
The leader in business aviation satellite communications and this article’s recommendation is Iridium.
Iridium is a satellite telecommunications company based in Virginia, United States. They operate a constellation of 66 low-Earth orbiting cross-linked satellites as a fully meshed network. This means you can access voice and data from hand-held satellite phones and other devices wherever you are in the world. Iridium is highly popular in business aviation because of its global capability and low-entry cost.
Iridium offers several key competitive advantages for business jets including:
- Highly reliable global coverage
- Small form factor equipment, making it easy to install
- Low-gain antenna options offering less drag on the aircraft
- Smooth transition and forward compatibility for Iridium NEXT, the next generation satellite constellation, providing connectivity for decades to come
Iridium prices start from as low as $1 per minute. They are considerably cheaper than their counterparts and cater specifically for business jets in all parts of the world.
What if I want to add data without breaking the bank?
If you decide to select an Iridium satellite phone it’s very simple and affordable thereafter to add a data service.
In fact, all you need is an iPod and you’ve got a data link.
How is that possible?
BizjetMobile uses an iPod as a Bluetooth Smart router combined with the Iridium satellite constellation to deliver simple App-based messaging communications to the aircraft.
You can get unlimited text and email connectivity for a low monthly rate of $599 per month.
The system is called CHiiMP Smart and it’s the only Iridium connectivity platform in the world that connects up to 10 people simultaneously on both Apple and Android devices.