On April 13, KDDI will begin selling “Extreme,” the newest Iridium satellite phone model and the first equipped with a GPS function.
With the GPS function, Extreme users can periodically update people in their address book on their location via email. In case of emergency, they can push the SOS Button on top of the unit to send an automatic message containing their GPS position.
At 10% thinner and 7% lighter than 9555, the previous model, it is now the thinnest, lightest Iridium satphone, and it also features better resistance to water and dust. The unit is 60 millimeters wide, 140 millimeters long and 27 millimeters deep and weighs 247 grams. The satphone can stay on in standby mode for up to 30 hours, and users can talk continuously for up to four hours.
Iridium provides satellite service anywhere on the globe through 66 satellites orbiting 780 kilometers above the Earth. The low orbit allows users to speak to each other naturally with little delay. Iridium users who call each other connect directly via satellite without relying on terrestrial networks, meaning that they will be able to get through even during emergencies. Calls to land lines and other mobile phones pass through an earth station in the United States.
KDDI provides Iridium service within Japan and allows users to connect with to both domestic and foreign areas that do not get good service. KDDI expects that the service will be of use to those involved with business continuity planning and corporations and municipalities in emergencies.