Satellite communications have been around for over two decades, but still today, many people don’t really understand them. There are many misconceptions out there – that they are only for the very wealthy, the government, or international adventurers. But this isn’t the case! There are many important reasons for people to have quick and efficient access to reliable communications. We’re going to break down the why, when and how of having communications anytime, anywhere.

First, and most importantly, satellite communications are critical during and after natural disasters. While some areas are more vulnerable than others, anywhere can fall victim to mother nature. One fresh reminder of this is Hurricane Harvey in 2017, where the vigilant people of Houston, Texas were ravaged by one of the worst hurricanes in United States history. Unfortunately, many were unable to connect through traditional cell phone lines; for example, according to the Federal Communications Commission, in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, Aransas County in Texas reported nearly 95 percent of its cell towers were out of commission. Because many members of the media brought satellite phones with them to report on the hurricane, many shared their phones with locals affected by the storm.

Additionally, satellite phones can be an important lifeline during recreational activities, like hiking, sailing, mountain biking, hunting, breaking world records, and many other recreational activities in remote areas of the world such as the middle of the Pacific Ocean or at a job site. No matter where, Iridium® is there.

Now that you know why and when you need a sat phone – how do you start shopping? There are many solutions out there, so the first step is determining how you want to connect using satellite communications. Do you want a handheld satellite phone, or would you prefer to turn your smartphone into a satellite phone? Luckily, Iridium has solutions for both:

The Iridium 9555 and Iridium Extreme are two of the most popular Iridium handheld products. Both products boast up to 30 hours of standby and four hours of talk time, in a small and very durable structure. Through talk and text, the Iridium 9555 and Iridium Extreme can save lives. The Iridium Extreme also has e-mail messaging capability, Google Mapping services, and GPS-enabled location-based services.

Iridium GO! ® is the innovative product which transforms your smartphone into a satellite phone anywhere in the world. Compatible with Apple and Android, Iridium GO! extends the use of your smartphone and devices. The Iridium GO! app extends your connection, optimizing you for voice, SMS, e-mail, 100-foot radius of WiFi for up to five devices, weather monitoring and more.

Whether you are making a disaster prep plan, embarking on an international trip, or like the ease-of-mind of being accessible during your adventures, having the right resources in place for any situation is crucial.

Iridium has worked hard over the past two decades to provide reliable, truly global satellite communications in collaboration with our more than 300 partners worldwide. Whichever product fits your needs, our partners can help you find the right device and service! Visit our website to find an Iridium partner near you.