Data plans currently start at $49/mo, or you can get unlimited data for $139/mo. You can activate service just when you need it, there are no contracts.
The Iridium constellation provides global coverage with 66 swarming satellites orbiting 475 miles up. Iridium is known for powering handheld satellite phones that enable voice calls anywhere on the planet, but the network does support limited data service too.
Speeds on the Iridium Go! are at a painfully slow 2.4 Kbps - so uploading a single high-resolution image might take hours, and even a basic web page might take 5–10 minutes to display.
The other big gotcha is that all data usage must go through Iridium's special apps on your phone or tablet – you cannot get a laptop online or use arbitrary apps.
This is not a device for surfing on - but it can be a great global communication option for places where there are no other consumer affordable options. It can download weather updates, place calls, do basics online and most importantly - reach help.
The option is very popular with sailors and cruisers making passages. Additional external antennas can be purchased for always on connectivity.
We do not intend to obtain a setup to test.
But here's a great review from friends of our resource center, Gone with the Wynns: How We Stay Connected Sailing The World – Free Wifi, Phones, & Satellite
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Iridium GO! Ratings
Small form factor, slow speeds and data must be used through their app - however an affordable option.