Iridium goes after Starlink with the Go Exec mobile satellite internet device

SpaceX Starlink It may be all the rage in the satellite internet segment, but Iridium is responding to consumers’ needs with the launch of a new device that offers satellite connectivity on the go.

the Iridium Joe Exec(opens in a new window) It is basically a wireless network from the phone It can connect to the 66 satellites the company has in orbit. But unlike the Starlink dish, the Go Exec is small enough that it can fit in a backpack. Weighing in at 2.6 pounds, the device also features a built-in battery, which can provide 6 hours of use or 24 hours of standby time.

On Tuesday, Iridium launched the product, which can connect up to four devices. But Go Exec isn’t cheap. Distributors of the company now an offer(opens in a new window) For $1,599, and that’s just for the hardware. Go Exec monthly data plans start at $129 and go up to $499 while offering 250GB of data at most.

Iridium Joe Exec

(Credit: Iridium)

In turn, the subscriber only needs to pay $ 599 for accommodation Starlink dish and $110 for monthly internet, which can go up to 100 Mbps or higher. However, Iridium still expects its own product to attract users, thanks to its portability.

“Starlink is clearly a very capable product and service. It fills a market need today,” said Brian Hartin, executive vice president of Iridium. “But the Iridium Go Exec is much more portable. It is a great companion for your smartphone, tablet and laptop. “

In an email, Jordan Hussain, Iridium’s chief communications officer, said the new product was not designed to replace Starlink. “You have a Starlink on your boat, or with your camper, but if you’re going hiking, fishing, or flying, Go Exec’s are easy to carry with you to stay connected,” he added. “Starlink is a Ka/Ku-band high-speed Internet service. We are a weatherproof mobile service on the L-band.”

The product also represents an upgrade of the company earlier Iridium Joe(opens in a new window) It was introduced in 2014 and is currently available for $799. One of its main limitations was how it largely restricted voice calls, emails, and text messages.

On the other hand, the new Go Exec is optimized to enable light web browsing, Twitter access, and messaging via apps like The WhatsApp. Speeds have also been upgraded: users can now expect download speeds of 88Kbps, and upload speeds of up to 22Kbps when the original Iridium Go boasted speeds of 2.4Kbps.

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“A megabyte image can be uploaded in about 6 minutes, and downloaded in about 90 seconds,” the company said. The Go Exec also includes a touch screen, speaker, and microphone while it features an Ethernet port and two USB-C Cutouts so that it can act as a power bank and charge your devices.

Having a Go Exec means you can use it almost anywhere to receive Internet access, as long as the device’s antenna has a clear view of the sky. In addition, the product can be deployed indoors by simply connecting it to an external antenna. It can also be used on planes and boats.

Although Iridium touts Go Exec portability over Starlink, the company may not keep this feature for long. Last year, SpaceX revealed that it was working on its own mobile version of Starlink and behold It will arrive as a portable device.

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