The Iridium constellation was designed by Motorola to provide Mobile Satellite Telecommunications Services (TSM) with global coverage. Its name comes after the element Iridium (Iridium) which has an atomic number of 77, equivalent to the number of satellites in the constellation included in the original design. This system aims to provide voice and data communications service by using portable devices in the areas outside the coverage of traditional communication systems.
At present, solutions provided by Iridium, which were bought and relaunched by new partners, are actively used in vertical markets such as oil, mining, ecotourism and military. After the events of September 11, 2001, U.S. security agencies have been using Iridium solutions as their preferred system of mobile voice satellite telecommunications. Only Air Force United States currently has over 25,000 active iridium satellite phones.
In 2010, the Iridium satellite phones cost more for modern and unique production, the Iridium 9555, is approximately $ 1,500.00 in U.S. The communication cost per minute is about $ 1.30. The cost per minute is independent of the country they originate or terminate calls, but there are no roaming charges. Iridium has a system for sending and receiving text messages that can accommodate up to 150 messages of 160 characters per month free of cost. 9505A Iridium phones and the new 9555 can also send emails directly using the keypad. The cost of each email sent, which can have a maximum of 160 characters is about $ 0.60
Iridium launched the service of OpenPort in 2009, focusing primarily on maritime segment, which allows data transmissions up to 128 kbps with global coverage. The current cost of OpenPort terminal is approximately $ 5,500.00 and the cost of transmission/reception of data is approximately $ 5.00 x Megabyte. In the late 2009, Iridium had already sold OpenPort 1000 terminals. OpenPort received a mixed review for service but it expected the system to function optimally in the first half of 2010. It is estimated that the Iridium system now exceeds 300,000 users.