Iridium is the only 100% global satellite phone network
Iridium is the only satellite phone network which offers complete global coverage allowing first responders, military personel, government departments, NGOs, engineers, geologists, truckers, sailors, snowmobilers, hikers, climbers, campers, fishermen, hunters, prospectors, adventurers and explorers alike to stay connected wherever they go. Its comforting to know, that no matter where you land, dock or disembark, with just a clear view of the sky, an Iridium satellite phone and a current plan, you'll be able to check in, say hello, call for help or text good night.

Leveraging the world’s furthest reaching network, Iridium and Canada Satellite deliver ongoing innovation in global mobile communications, to help make more of the connections that matter — anywhere on the planet and in ways never thought possible. Powered by a uniquely sophisticated global constellation of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, the Iridium® network provides high-quality voice and data connections over the planet’s entire surface, including across oceans, airways and polar regions.

Iridium Satellite Phones

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Powered by a uniquely sophisticated global constellation of 66 cross-linked Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, the Iridium® network provides high-quality voice and data connections over the planet’s entire surface, including across airways, oceans, and polar regions. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications.
Iridium completed a constellation upgrade in early 2019, replacing all its satellites and upgrading the supporting ground infrastructure. This enabled the launch of Iridium Certus®, a new multi-service platform delivering specialty broadband services, with additional midband services coming soon.
At only 780 kilometers from the Earth, the proximity of Iridium’s LEO network means pole-to-pole coverage, a shorter transmission path, stronger signals, lower latency, and shorter registration time than with GEO satellites. In space, each Iridium satellite is linked to up to four others creating a dynamic network that routes traffic among satellites to ensure global coverage, even where traditional local systems are unavailable.

What is a Satellite Phone?
A satellite phone is not a cell phone and a cell phone cannot be configured to connect to a satellite.

Cell phones connect to physical cellular towers to make calls, send texts and access internet services on mobile data. Satellite phones (sat phone, terminal, satellite cell phone) connect to satellites in the sky and function independently from ground-based networks but offer standard phone capabilities.

If you’re looking for a top satellite phone in Canada, the Iridium satellite phone is a worthwhile look. Typically, sat terminals don’t have high-end user interface features, but technology is advancing and so is the design of satellite phones.

Satellite Technologies
Satellite communications are delivered through one of two technologies: Geosynchronous satellites (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems. GEO satellites follow the Earth’s rotation in a fixed position high up covering vast areas.

Unlike Inmarsat and Thuraya, Iridium uses 66 cross-linked LEO satellites that orbit the Earth at a much lower distance, passing frequently to provide ample opportunities to connect with satellite devices on the ground.

Iridium Satellite Services
Iridium provides top class, reliable and protected satellite services with full coverage, making it a true global mobile communications network. With plenty of satellites in orbit, a signal is guaranteed from your Iridium satellite phone when you have an unobstructed view of the sky with no other close interference.

A leading satellite services provider, Iridium offers leading-edge satellite communication devices that include Internet connectivity, location awareness, enterprise apps, email and messaging. Canada Satellite offers a wide selection of pricing plans and bundles for Iridium satellite phones.

Iridium Satellite Phone Models

Iridium offers 4 current model satellite phones. 

Iridium 9575 Extreme
In 2011, a highly durable Iridium Extreme (9575) phone was introduced with a built-in GPS emergency button and interface to advanced location-based services. Available to rent or buy, the Iridium 9575 Extreme model is top of the range combining SOS, GPS-enabled location-based services, online tracking, reliable global coverage, and much more.  The Iridium Extreme is jet-water, shock and dust resistant (IP65) and can operate in temperatures between -15 - +35 °C.

With a military-grade design, the Iridium Extreme is compatible with several accessories to extend capabilities such as setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Iridium 9575 PTT Push-To-Talk
The Iridium 9575 PTT (Push To Talk) is a team version of the Iridium Extreme, allowing users walkie-talkie fuctionality with nearly global range.  Iridium’s Push-to-Talk technology provides instant and secure communication between multiple people located anywhere in the world. Providing global coverage, talk-group configuration and a command center tool that facilitates multiple communication services.

The Iridium 9575 PTT satellite phone includes normal telephone mode for voice calling and SOS services so you can always be in touch from any location.

Iridium 9555
The Iridium 9555, released in late 2008, is still the most popular and reliable model. The Iridium 9555 satellite phone features include voice and text, integrated speakerphone and hands-free capability.  Available to rent or buy, this small but powerful satellite phone is built for tough environments that don’t offer cell phone coverage. Being an older generation sat phone, the Iridium 9555 is a light and easy, practical fit. With guaranteed coverage, this satellite phone provides reliable voice and text communications with basic Internet abilities.

Iridium GO!
The Iridium GO! is the latest personal satellite communications device from Iridium and creates the first ever reliable global connection for voice and data communications on your smartphone or up to 5 mobile devices. No worries. No roaming charges. Just connected and in touch wherever you are, whenever you need, with the devices you rely on every day.

Discontinued / Legacy Phones

Iridium 9505A
Large brick shaped satellite handset manufactured from 2002 to 2008 by the second corporate incarnation of Iridium.  Externally almost identical to the original Motorola 9505.  Native RS-232 data interface with proprietary pinout adapter.  The Iridium 9505A model comes with a convenient and robust docking station with advanced features and functionality like include smart dialing with the correct country format.

The versatile docking station also provides a graphical display for setup, programming, operation and troubleshooting.

An accessory was also introduced at the same time called Iridium Axcesspoint which, when connected to a 9555 or Extreme phone, creates a wi-fi hotspot for smartphone email, SMS and web connections.

All handsets can receive SMS, but only the 9505, 9505A, 9555, Extreme and those based on the 9522 can send them.

Motorola 9505 — Large brick shaped handset manufactured from 1999 to 2002 by the first corporate incarnation of Iridium. Native RS-232 data interface with proprietary pinout adapter.
Kyocera SS-66K — Manufactured in very small numbers by Kyocera in 1998-1999 for the first Iridium corporation, very large handset. Can occasionally be found for sale on eBay.

Several other Iridium-based telephones exist, such as payphones, and equipment intended for installation on ships and aircraft. The DPL handset made by NAL Research combined with a 9522 transceiver is used for some of these products. This handset provides a user interface nearly identical to that of the 9505 series phones.

Category Questions

The one truly global handset is Iridium. The 9555 & 9575 are stand alone units while the Iridium GO! pairs via blue tooth with your cellular phone. 

These options fall under Iridium's global network of 66 low earth orbiting satellite that spend about 11 minutes overhead and then hand off to the next satellite providing coverage in your area.

The Inmarsat handset the ISAT2 is a popular handset that while fantastic for a large portion of the planet fails around the Arctic and Antarctic circles. It is also easier to lose connectivity due to requiring line of sight to a satellite over the equator. 

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Prepaid SIM's are shipped inactive and the customer chooses when to activate by submitting a request online. The validity starts from that date. Our sim's are usually active within minutes of the customer request through our online portal. 

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When calling from an Iridium handset the charges to call are the same, whether it be from your company parking lot or the middle of the pacific. The planet is your home calling region. If calling from your Cell or Home phone you will need to discuss this with your long distance provider. They set the rates and Iridium, Inmarsat, Globalstar & Thuraya have no involvement or sway over those rates. ... Read more

The SIM card can only be topped up with the original plan type. So the Global plans will only accept a top up of another Global Plan, and vice versa with the Northern Lights Plans. 

It is possible to switch though. You will need to notify us to delete any minutes remaining if you wish to cross platforms.

Please give us 72 Hours to complete this task, the clock does not tick on the weekends. Our best advices is to submit your request well in advance.



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Satellite phones require line of sight to the satellite to connect. They do not have enough transmit power to go through walls etc. 

We suggest a Docking Station with an RJ11 port, this enables you to connect a cordless phone to the docking station and roam freely indoors. 

This type of installation requires an antenna mounted at the highest point possible on the roof. We would need to know what length cable to provide as well, the proper size is needed to ensure signal propagation, this is a vital aspect of the install. 

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A SIM card can "sit" for a very long time, the only issue you would have is the cost of the plan. If you prepaid then that cost is only valid for 30 days. The cost may change is the underlying issue. 

In reality the SIM could sit for years. 

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In northern Quebec, the Iridium is a much safer choice.  You will have 66 satellites instead of 1.  Depending on how many minutes you use per month, the Northern Lights plan might be the more economical choice. 


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