A world-wide satellite telephone system that uses low-orbit satellites to provide universal global communications coverage. Iridium's original high cost and poor service almost led to the company's collapse in 1999. A reorganized Iridium now offers very competitive rates and smaller phones. Other satellite phone services include Globalstar and ICO/Ellipse. (See our links page.)
A network of 66 low earth orbit satellites designed to give instantaneous world-wide telephone coverage to anyone with lots of money. Originally intended to have 77 satellites (hence the name: the atomic number of iridium is 77), it should now strictly speaking be called Dysprosium. Surprisingly, this suggestion of mine has not been taken up by the Iridium corporation.
Satellite Personal Communications System involving 66 satellites in low earth orbit, providing global communications from mobile telephones
A low earth orbit satellite communications system developed initially by Motorola.
A company that manufactures and runs a mobile satellite communications system. Using one of their handsets linked to their satellite network, calls can made from anywhere on the planet, no matter how remote.
A global mobile phone system of 66 satellites that offer global communications.
First LEO based global communications system backed by Motorola. Primarily for voice, it was launched in 1998 and went into Chapter 11 in 1999.
The first LEO-based global communications system. Launched in 1998, went into Chapter 11 in 1999 and resurrected in 2000. See Iridium.
The Iridium satellite constellation is a system of 66 active communication satellites and spares around the Earth. The system was originally to have 77 active satellites, and as such was named for the element iridium, which has atomic number 77. The original name was retained even though the number of active satellites is less than planned (the element with atomic number 66 is called dysprosium, which in Greek means "hard to get at/hard to get in contact with" and thus was unacceptable).