The Iridium System is a satellite-based, wireless personal communications network providing a robust suite of voice features to virtually any destination anywhere on earth. The Iridium satellite system comprises three principal components: the satellite network, the ground network and the Iridium subscriber products ranging from satellite phones to pagers. The design of the Iridium network enables voice and data to be routed virtually anywhere in the world. Voice and data calls are relayed from one satellite to another until they reach the satellite above the Iridium Subscriber Unit (handset) and the signal is relayed back to Earth. Both a terrestrial and space based network, the Iridium constellation consists of 66 operational satellites and 13 spare satellites orbiting in a constellation of six polar planes. Each plane has 11 mission satellites performing as nodes in the telephony network. The 13 additional satellites orbit as spares ready to replace any unserviceable satellite. This constellation ensures that every region on the globe is covered by at least one Iridium satellite at all times. The satellites are in a near-polar orbit at an altitude of 485 miles (780 km). They circle the earth once every 100 minutes traveling at a rate of 16,832 miles per hour. Each Iridium satellite is cross-linked to four other satellites; two satellites in the same orbital plane and two in an adjacent plane.

Iridium handheld phones

Iridium fixed systems


Inmarsat is the pioneer of global mobile satellite communications. Today Inmarsat stands at the forefront of 3G wireless telephony, capitalizing on almost a quarter of a century's experience to deliver broadband communications solutions to enterprise, maritime and aeronautical users around the globe. Inmarsat operates a constellation of geostationary satellites that extend
mobile phone, fax and data communications to every part of the world,except the poles. End-users can dial into the international telephone network and send data over the Internet at any time, simply by connecting to an Inmarsat satellite. They include ship-owners, TV broadcasters, international aid workers, national governments, commercial airlines, etc.

Inmarsat BGAN

Inmarsat Fleet Broadband

Inmarsat handheld (iSatphone Pro)


Thuraya offers cost-effective satellite-based mobile telephone services to nearly one third of the globe. Through its dynamic dual mode handsets and satellite payphones, Thuraya will enhance freedom of movement and connectivity. Thuraya provides blanket-to-blanket coverage to more than 110 countries in Europe, North, Central Africa and large parts Southern Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia: a landmass inhabited by an estimated 2.3 billion people. Thuraya offers satellite, cellular (GSM) service and location determination system (GPS) in a single dual mode handset that is lightweight, elegant and easy to use. The dynamic handset offers voice, data, fax and SMS.

Thuraya handheld phones

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