Iridium Introduces GoChat, On Track for Release of OpenPort
[Satellite Today 09-26-08] Iridium will introduce GoChat, a prepaid crew-calling plan with global service and OpenPort, an enhanced-bandwidth marine satellite communication service scheduled to be commercially available in October, the company announced Sept. 25.
GoChat eliminates off-peak value pricing in favor of an, around-the-clock standard per-minute rate using larger denomination prepaid cards with progressive discounts. “By removing time-of-day restrictions for discounted pricing, we are making it more convenient for crew members to call home during their off-watch hours,” Greg Ewert, executive vice president of global channel distribution at Iridium, said in a statement.
OpenPort aims to offer three independent telephone circuits, which can be used simultaneously without interference, as well as a user-selectable range of data speeds from 9.6 kilobits per second (kbps) to 128 kbps to meet maritime user requirements.
“We have been conducting at-sea beta tests of Iridium OpenPort terminals on a number of different ships with excellent results,” Don Thoma, executive vice president of marketing for Iridium, said. “We are now gearing up for production deliveries of Iridium OpenPort units to meet the demand for more than 4,000 orders received since we announced the new system earlier this year.”