Currently the Military of all agencies such as Navy, Army, Marines ect,..has been using 10-15 year old Iridium devices for years since they have invested into the Iridium network years ago before it was almost going under. The department of defense at that point years ago made a deal with Iridium and took up more than 40% of the Iridium system.
The Defense Department also recently awarded Iridium a $400 million Defense Information Systems Agency contract to provide satellite airtime services for the military and their federal partners, for the upcoming new Iridium Next , and for the availability to use a new portable device.
The Military has been moving towards the use of smartphones in the field partly because of the power and functionality they can provide, and with the new Iridium GO release, it may be just what the military has needed for their solders in the field, because if they are already using smartphones in the field it's a natural extension of what they already have, and give the soldiers capabilities far beyond what they have had in the past.
Iridium has also released there new 'Iridium Burst' system with the Military mostly in mind. The Iridium Burst is a mass message service that can transmit one-way communications to many multiple users, such as whole field operations groups, that produce an energy level high enough to penetrate buildings, aircraft and other structures that don't have a direct line of sight to the Iridium satellites, but still give them the global coverage they need in many areas, and the covert signal which is need for special operations.
They will have battlefield applications for the Iridium Burst, which can covertly send out messages anywhere in the world in no more than 90 seconds.
It could be used for distress calls, and more, or a commander in the field could send an alert to all forces all over the globe, which is something revolutionary from the military's standpoint. Iridium does not offer encryption services commercially, however the military could use its own encryption systems with Burst. Although added encryption could slightly increase message delivery times in the field.
So as Iridium continues to produce their technology smaller, and smaller, and incorporate the use of their devices with our everyday portable smartphones, and tablets, it is also showing that it is expanding it's original horizon for military devices, and services to help so that both military, and consumers will not have to carry much more than a pocket sized device.
with all these changes taking place in the satellite industry, and combining the use with portable devices, we can see that it will not be long before smartphones, tablets, and even laptops themselves incorporate certain satellite driven chips already built in to the devices in the future so that quite possibly with Iridium's NEXT system, and within the next 5 years people will be able to purchase a smartphone with satellite chips and software already built in that they can call a satellite specialist company to just activate a plan or prepaid card.
Iridium truly is looking to the future.The Inmarsat Network is right there alongside with its new release of their Inmarsat IsatHub devices and services that will now offer cheaper devices and services with true 3G, high speed internet connectivity with their own small devices that project a WiFi hotspot, and connect via an application through the Apple iPhone, or Android devices, and laptops.
For more info, you can see our Iridium GO! product, or Inmarsat IsatHub Products, and of course if you need any questions answered then feel free to contact our technicians at 877.299.9931