If you are planning any trips that are off the grid and yet still want access to phone and internet, then you need to become familiar with the Iridium satellite constellation. Orbiting approximately 485 miles above the earth, this network offers global phone and data coverage, no cell towers or Wi-Fi hotspots required!
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There are a number of kits that allow you access to the Iridium system, and one of the best is the Iridium GO! Package. The basic package comes with the Iridium GO! base station, carry case, and AC travel charger with international adapter, and is suitable for those who have access to electricity.
It’s priced at $699, but bear in mind that there are additional activation fees and a subscription plan to the Iridium network is required (and this can be quite expensive).
The Iridium GO! offers to 15.5 hours of standby battery life, and up to 5.5 hours of talk time.
For those who truly want to go off-grid, there’s also a special package that includes not only the Iridium GO! base station and AC travel charger with international adapter, but also comes with a solar charger, two batteries additional, and a desktop charger. This is priced at a heftier $1,095.
There are also bespoke marine and aviation packages available.
Iridium GO! supports a full range of global communications using optimized apps:
- Voice calls
- Text messaging
- Email access
- Weather updates
- Customized third-party apps
- Emergency alerts (SOS)
- Photo sharing
- GPS tracking
- Posting to Facebook/Twitter
If you need to be in communication when off the grid, this is the perfect kit. Yes, it’s expensive, and the subscriptions add a great deal more to the cost, but you are accessing a satellite network, not a router in the back of a café!
Do you think the price for accessing the Iridium system is too prohibitive, or is it worth it for you? Let me know!