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Iridium Rolls Out More Capable GO! Device for Off the Grid Personal Connectivity

By Rachel Jewett | January 31, 2023
Iridium GO! exec device in use in a remote location. Photo: Iridium

Iridium GO! exec device in use in a remote location. Photo: Iridium

Iridium Communications is rolling out a new portable wireless access device called Iridium GO! exec, an upgraded version of the Iridium GO! device that lets customers use their smartphones like a satellite phone in remote locations.

The GO! exec is a small portable personal communications device that can fit in a laptop carrier or backpack that offers wireless internet connectivity for smartphones and laptops. Powered by Iridium Certus 100 service, the company said it offers 40 times faster download speeds than GO! Speeds are advertised at up to 22 Kbps transmit and up to 88 Kbps receive. 

“It’s the most capable personal satellite connectivity device ever created for smartphones and tablets,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a virtual announcement event on Tuesday. 

The bandwidth allows users to send and receive email, use chat or office applications, make phone calls, share pictures, post to social media, from their own devices using their own compatible messaging apps like WhatsApp. Iridium has global coverage with its L-band network and the device will work in all countries Iridium is licensed to operate. GO! exec can support up to four Wi-Fi connected devices at once. 

It’s pitched as a solution for remote off-the-grid working anywhere. This could be professionals in remote locations, NGO personnel, government employees, utility workers, first responders, pilots, and sailors. An external antenna and fixed-install kit for boats and remote locations is also available to order. 

Desch said the design came out of conversations with customers about how to make the GO! experience a more natural internet experience for customers off the grid. 

“The GO! exec will enable anyone, anywhere to file reports, transfer images and video files, use common messaging apps like WhatsApp or WeChat, and access standard office applications from their smartphones, tablets, or laptops,” Desch said. “It’s a small, portable, battery-powered smart companion for your smart devices. There’s really nothing like this product, helping professionals and anyone stay productive and connected anywhere.” 

Iridium did not share a price for the device or plans, but said it’s priced to be affordable, positioned in its line of premium satellite phones.

Desch believes this device will bring Iridium new individuals and enterprises. Iridium has reported continued strength in consumer personal communications devices like the GO!, which contributed to record revenue in 2021

The company is also working to the reach of its network and recently announced a ​​partnership with Qualcomm Technologies for satellite-compatible chips that will enable messaging on Android cell phones via its satellites. The emergency messaging will be available on next-generation android smartphones, launched in select regions starting in the second half of 2023, and could expand to other consumer devices, IoT devices, and vehicles, in the future.