IRIDIUM NETWORK OVERVIEW  flag_costa_rica.gif








Truly Global Communications

Iridium Communications Inc. is the only satellite communications company that offers truly global voice and data communications coverage. A technology innovator and market leader, Iridium is advancing the way global enterprises conduct daily mission-critical activities through reliable, near real-time, communications services.

Iridium's 66 low-Earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites - the world's largest commercial constellation - operate as a fully meshed network that is supported by multiple in-orbit spares.

Reaching over oceans, through airways and across the Polar Regions, Iridium solutions are ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities. Iridium provides service to subscribers from the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as other civil and government agencies around the world. Iridium sells its products, solutions and services through a network of service providers and value-added dealers.

Iridium NEXT:  Expanding the Possibilities

Iridium is constantly finding new ways to expand possibilities, including our next-generation constellation, Iridium NEXT. Anticipated to begin launching in 2015, Iridium NEXT will bring enhanced and entirely new services and capabilities to our customers.

Connecting People, Businesses and Organizations

Iridium voice services are provided via various handsets and installed communications systems onboard ships, aircraft and land-based vehicles. Iridium's short burst data (SBD) transceiver, incorporated into an ever-increasing number of applications, provides data connections to every corner of the Earth, transferring location information, weather reports, email, or any other data requiring a reliable, global, two-way connection.

Iridium proactively addresses new and emerging markets, with its most rapidly expanding business segment as the machine-to-machine (M2M) market and the two-way, satellite-based location, tracking and messaging market. Iridium OpenPort provides complete voice and data coverage for ships at sea over the world's largest and only complete global commercial satellite constellation.


A publicly traded company headquartered in McLean, Va., Iridium manages several operations centers, including Tempe, Arizona and Leesburg, Virginia, U.S.A. The U.S. Department of Defense, through its own dedicated gateway, relies on Iridium for global communications capabilities.
Nasdaq: IRDM
Corporate Headquarters: McLean, Virginia, U.S.A.
Operations Centers: Tempe, Arizona and Leesburg, Virginia, U.S.A.
Primary Gateway Earth Station: Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.

     Iridium Corporate video
Iridium Force




  For the casual user to the extreme adventurer. From the first responder to the one in harm’s way. For those tracking under pressure to those moving in on opportunity.

People everywhere are moving beyond the reach of traditional networks, and they expect their connected experience to travel with them. Our ongoing innovation in real mobile, real global communication is helping make more of these connections that matter – across the entire planet, in ways never thought possible.

Iridium Force is our unique vision for using the power of the world’s furthest reaching network to bring extended and enhanced personal communications to people and organizations, everywhere.

Beyond satellite phones: Giving people the ability to use their smartphones and favorite applications far beyond the reach of terrestrial networks.

Simplifying connections: Investing in making our technology accessible and cost- effective to embed across an ever-widening range of current and future services.

Driving innovation: Opening and licensing our technology to collaborate with an expanding set of innovators, creating new solutions for a wide range of markets.

Location-aware: Integrating GPS location services with products to enable personal security and location-specific applications on the go.

Uncompromising performance: Delivering tough, reliable “truly mobile” devices that work anywhere on the planet.

    Iridium Force video
Iridium Global Network

Industry-Leading and Reliable

What does Iridium industry-leading network reliability mean to customers?

It means that they can rely on the Iridium network to work when they need it, everywhere on the planet. For our customers, where critical communications are essential, failure is not an option.

Iridium subscribers are the beneficiaries of a very sophisticated network that provides high-quality and reliable voice and data connections anywhere on the globe. Our more than 400 experts constantly monitor, measure and analyze Quality of Service (QoS).

Inherent Strengths. Unique Global Network

Customers can be confident that the Iridium global network will continue to deliver unrivaled reliability - today and into the future.  Our technology advantage is inherent in our unique network:

Satellite Constellation: Iridium is the only truly global satellite network offering unmatched communications, performance and reliability advantages.

Ground Infrastructure: Iridium’s ground network includes two gateways; a satellite network operations center; a technical support center; and four tracking, telemetry and control (TTAC) stations - interconnected by advanced fiber-optic and broadband satellite links.

Team: Behind the scenes at Iridium are more than 400 engineers, experts, service technicians and support personnel.

Iridium delivers reliable, unmatched communications on the only truly global network.


    Iridium Network - How It Works - demo
The Satellite Constellation
iridium_earth_connect.jpg   The Iridium constellation consits of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, plus seven in-orbit spares, means truly global coverage and real mobility everywhere.

The network is considered a meshed constellation of interconnected, cross-linked satellites so that each satellite “talks” with the other nearby satellites in adjacent orbits.

Unique to Iridium, this architecture provides inherent advantages in performance and reliability over other mobile satellite services providers.

The Ground Infrastructure
Iridium’s extensive interconnected ground network ensures high reliability through multiple layers of redundancy and back-up systems for all critical functions:
  • Iridium’s Satellite Network Operating Centre (SNOC) is the nerve center of the Iridium space and ground network, providing 24/7 monitoring and control over all network elements, including the satellites, ground sites and interconnections.
  • The Gateway is the landing point for commercial voice and data traffic through the satellites, providing connections into the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Internet cloud.
  • Ground Stations serve as the primary landing points for Iridium OpenPort communications, and as a backup landing point for commercial traffic.
  • The Technical Support Center is managed and staffed by engineering and technical personnel with in-depth understanding of all aspects of the Iridium network.
Iridium NEXT

NEXT step in performance!

Iridium NEXT is a bold vision for a second-generation satellite constellation.

Iridium NEXT will expand Iridium's capability to meet rapidly expanding demand for truly global mobile communications on land, at sea, and in the skies. By supporting enhanced and entirely new services for Iridium customers across a growing range of industries and geographical areas, Iridium NEXT will drive innovation in rapidly expanding areas such as:

  • Enterprise global voice and data connectivity
  • Asset tracking and other machine-to-machine (M2M) applications
  • New data-centric applications
  • More power enabling new opportunities
Anticipated to begin launching in 2015, Iridium NEXT will maintain the existing Iridium constellation architecture of 66 cross-linked satellite low-Earth orbiting (LEO) covering 100 percent of the globe. Iridium NEXT will substantially enhance and extend Iridium mobile communications services, delivering:
  • Higher data speeds
  • Powerful new services and devices
  • Advantages of IP technology
  • Backward compatibility with current handsets, devices and applications
Iridium NEXT will also offer commercial, government and scientific organizations a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to place secondary sensor payloads on the world’s largest commercial satellite constellation. Providing 24/7 real-time visibility over the entire Earth’s surface and atmosphere, Iridium NEXT hosted payloads are available at a fraction of the cost of launching and maintaining dedicated platforms in space.

On Schedule for Launch
All systems are go for Iridium NEXT.  Iridium is on schedule to fully replace its current satellite constellation, the world’s largest commercial satellite system which is expected to begin launching in 2015.


Leisure Travel Communication Solutions

Stay in Touch and Stay Relaxed Even In Remote Parts of The World.

Iridium provides travellers with a dependable source of communications and security whether travelling internationally or to remote parts of the world.

The portability, ease of use and durability of the Iridium system handsets and pagers allow travellers peace of mind knowing that they can maintain contact with those at home and colleagues at the office.


  • International Business Traveller Who Needs to Stay In Touch Without the Hassle
  • Need to Work Remotely or in Urban Areas
  • Decision Makers Who are on the Move Around the Globe
  • Looking for Convenience and Ease of Transportability
  • Technical Specialists and Problem Solvers Need Global Access to Colleagues
  • Communications for Personal Use while on Vacation
  • Global Coverage, Portability and Easy to Use
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • World-Wide Paging and Short Messaging Services
  • Portability in Remote Areas
  • Staying in Touch


Utilities Communication Solutions

Powerful Communications To Keep Your Transmission Routes Operational

The Iridium Satellite phones provide communications mobility for project managers and other field personnel travelling to remote areas.

It is ideal for use in disaster management and emergency communications because Iridium's infrastructure can operate independently of ground-based systems. Iridium can also be used to order critical parts and expedite supplies.


  • Mobile Communications around the Planet
  • Field Personnel Travelling to Remote Areas
  • Disaster Management & Emergency Communications
  • Ordering Critical Parts and Supplies From Remote Locations
  • Facility Maintenance & Repair Communications
  • Global Coverage, Portability and Easy to Use
  • Cost Effective Satellite Solutions Including Competitive Usage Rates
  • No Setup or Installation is Required
  • Subscriber Identity Module Card Allows Crew Members to Share a Handset
  • Independent of Terrestrial Phone Systems



Construction Communication Solutions

Keep Your Worldwide Construction Teams Connected

Ease of use, size and functionality of Iridium handsets and pagers make communications more reliable and efficient for agents to use while in the field.

Complete global coverage means construction teams can use service at all worldwide sites. Good voice quality allows reliable communications between agent and headquarters.


  • Agent to Headquarters Communication
  • Human Resource Management (Payroll, Vacation, Benefits, etc.)
  • Scheduling and Logistics Management
  • Modification of Site Designs Communicated to Construction Teams
  • Project Budget Control and Schedule Management
  • Medical Emergency Response Teams
  • Global Coverage, Portability and Easy to Use
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Cost Effective Satellite Solutions Including Competitive Usage Rates
  • Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Allows Agents, & Crew Membersto Share a Handset
  • Independent of Terrestrial Phone System

Media & Entertainment Communication Solutions

You've Got a Story to Tell... No Matter Where it's Happening!

In the past, reporters spent significant time setting up their satellite units before being able to "go live" with a story. Speedy, efficient communications are now possible with Iridium Satellite handsets and pagers. Iridium requires no set-up time, which is important for remote reporting. Iridium Satellite Series (TM) pagers are valuable tools for reporters, who are now just one page away from the office - and the latest information. Because of its portability, Iridium Satellite phones can cover events as they unfold, even if that means quickly moving from one location to another.


  • Reporters & News Crews in Remote Locations
  • Movie Studio and Independent Productions on Location or Abroad
  • Live Event Coverage & Sporting Events
  • International News Bureaus Connecting to the Home Office
  • Entertainment Executives Travelling Abroad
  • Communication with Dispersed Team Members
  • Photographers and Commercial Production Outfits
  • Global Coverage, Portability, & Rapid Deployment
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • World-Wide Paging and Short Messaging Services
  • Instant Communication with Dispersed Team Members
  • Coordination of Teams When Covering Multiple Sites






Maritime Communication Solutions

Connectivity On The World's Oceans

Maritime applications include shipping, transport, cruises and recreational boating. Iridium provides a portable solution for crew members who may be at sea months at a time and want to have direct connection with home.Iridium provides access to more people. Paging and handsets may be important to the crew as this allows them to be reached when they venture off the boat for both business and personal reasons. In addition, the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card allows crew members to share a handset and receive separate bills for service.


  • Shipping
  • Transport
  • Cruise Ships
  • Recreational Boating
  • Yachts
  • More Portable than the Competition
  • Great Contingency Communications Tool
  • Easily Used Both On and Off Ships
  • No Setup or Installation is Required
  • Cost Effective Satellite Solutions Including Competitive Usage Rates
  • Subscriber Identity Module Card Allows Crew Members to Share a Handset
  • Subscriber Identity Module Card Allows Crew Members to Share a Handset
  • Independent of Terrestrial Phone Systems
  • Enables Direct Communication on Extended Stays at Sea

Aviation Communication Solutions

At 30,000 Feet, You Need a Communications Solutions that's out of thisWorld

Iridium aeronautical satellite communications service provides aircraft crew and passengers with reliable, worldwide communications including the Polar Regions.

The aeronautical terminal equipment for the Iridium system is significantly smaller, lighter and lower priced than e existing satellite communications equipment and can be installed in helicopters to fast jets.


  • Direct Communications While Travelling By Air
  • Owners & Operators of Private Aircraft Services
  • Backup Communication Path to Regular Radio
  • Rescue Missions to Land Base
  • Emergency Flight Direction (Take off, Flight, Landing, etc.)
  • Individualized Use by Crew Members or Passengers
  • Global Coverage, Portability and Easy to Use
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • Easily Installed on all Aircraft Types
  • Can Be Used as Backup if Radios Malfunction or Unavailable
  • Office in the Sky

Disaster Relief & Emergency Communication Solutions

Disasters and Emergencies Happen... And When They Do the Satellites are Ready to Augment Relief Efforts

Clearly the key benefits in disaster relief situations are the portability and ease-of-use which are vital in the most urgent of circumstances.

Because Iridium can operate independently of ground-based infrastructure, it provides reliable communications coverage in any disaster relief situation.


  • Non-Operational Ground Based Infrastructure
  • Natural and Man-made Disasters and Clean-up Efforts
  • Fires Are Raging Across Acres of Forest Land
  • Earthquakes Have Eliminated the Power Grid and Telephone Systems
  • Immediate Delivery of Tactical and Preliminary Information
  • Instant Communication with Dispersed Team Members
  • Global Coverage, Portability, & Rapid Deployment
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • World-Wide Paging and Short Messaging Services
  • Rapid Backup and Contingency Augmentation
  • Portability in Dangerous Situations



Government Communication Solutions

We Enhance Your Communications Globally

ridium Satellite products and services provide solutions for Government entities around the world. 

  • Emergency Military Enforcement/Administration
  • Secure Radio and Government Communications
  • Base Station and Remote Communications
  • Coordination of Supplies, Teams and Missions
  • Diplomacy and Negotiation Missions, Where Every Minute Counts
  • Instant Communication Systems Where There Are No Alternatives 
  • Global Coverage, Portability, and Easy to Use
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • World-Wide Paging and Short Messaging Services
  • Rapid Backup and Contingency Augmentation
  • Portability in Dangerous Situation





Mining Communication Solutions

Keep Everyone Aware of Your Findings... Regardless of Site Location

Even in the most remote location, the Iridium Satellite Series (TM) products and accessories fit all applications. When you're exploring remote areas for new deposits or surveying new sites, we have the solution to your communication needs.

Exploration adventures can be exciting and dangerous. Stay connected while you're looking for the next big shipment.


  • Geological & Site Survey Data Communication
  • Coordination of Exploration Crews
  • Status Reporting of Geological Findings
  • Coordination of Component Purchases
  • Equipment Transportation Logistics
  • Mineral Production and Quality/Level Reporting
  • Human Resources Management
  • Global Coverage, Portability and Easy to Use
  • Great Voice Quality Creates Reliability and Efficiency
  • Smaller, Lighter, and Lower Priced
  • World-Wide Paging and Short Messaging Services
  • Instant Communications and Alerting of Findings

Oil & Gas Communication Solutions

Keep Your Pipeline of Communications Wide Open

When in the field, unplanned changes constantly occur. Being able to communicate back to headquarters can aid in decision making. Unique portability and ease of use make Iridium particularly attractive to oil exploration and management.

Fixed station applications are among the most cost effective satellite solutions today. Small phones and pagers and no set-up make Iridium aconvenient portable solution.


  • Off Shore Set-Up and Operation Logistics Drilling Rigs
  • Communication on Oil Production Data
  • Project Coordination, Emergency Response & Home Office Connectivity
  • Supplementary Solutions to Existing Communications Infrastructure
  • Management Communication When Travelling to Remote Sites
  • Global Coverage, Portability, & Easy to Use
  • Cost Effective Satellite Solutions Including Competitive Usage Rates
  • No Set-up or Installation is Required
  • Subscriber Identity Module Card Allows Crew Members to Share a Handset
  • Independent of Terrestrial Phone Systems

Advanced Service Features

A variety of advanced features are included as part of Iridium World Satellite, and Iridium WorldPage Service. Your choice of  features depends on which service options you select.

Personal Mailbox  If you subscribe to Iridium World Satellite, or World Page Service, you are provided with a personal mailbox that receives and stores numeric messages, text messages, and voice mail messages. A notification is sent to your phone or pager when you receive a message.

Voice Mail  (VM) Voice mail allows callers to leave a recorded message in your personal mailbox.

Text Messaging  (SMS) Text messaging allows you to receive short text messages on your phone or pager.

Numeric Messaging  Numeric messaging allows callers to enter numeric messages with a touch-tone phone. Messages are delivered to your phone, pager, or personal mailbox.

Call Forwarding  Call forwarding allows you to redirect incoming calls to another phone number.

Call Barring  Call barring allows you to bar all outgoing or incoming calls. This capability is especially useful  when you let others use your phone.

Emergency Calling  With emergency calling you can place an emergency call by dialing an abbreviated number.

Direct Internet Data Service (DI) provides connectivity from a PC, through your Iridium phone, directly to the Internet through dedicated servers at the Iridium gateway.
Iridium Router-Based Unrestricted Digital Interworking Connectivity Solution (RUDICS) is an enhanced gateway termination / origination capability for circuit-switched data calls across the Iridium satellite network.
Iridium Short Burst Data  low latency global SBD service is the ideal solution for monitoring everything from containers and trucks to planes and ships. It is integrated into our Value Added Services vertical market applications in industries.

Iridium Global Satellite Services are designed to provide customers with wireless communications solutions to meet their varied needs.


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