Iridium 9505A

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 May, 2008, 12:00am

When the devastating earthquakes hit Sichuan province, buildings were not the only things that collapsed.

Communications networks were also knocked out, leaving people unable to get in contact with loved ones, and disrupting relief efforts.

So although this week's product is not exactly new, it is one that continues to be of great value, especially for people who travel to remote locations, or for times when other forms of communications are unavailable - the satellite phone.

The Iridium satellite phone uses a constellation of 66 satellites to provide mobile phone service across the whole surface of the globe. As long as you can see the sky, you can get a connection and make a call.

The only downside is that not many people need to use the service frequently, so there aren't many phones available - actually, the company became bankrupt, but is now back in business.

At the moment, there is only one handset for the service, the 9505A. As you might expect, it isn't the smallest handset in the world, but it is obviously designed for rugged use, as it's water, dust and shock-resistant.

As probably the only communications device for people in remote locations, the 9505A also supports global SMS service, as well as being able to connect the phone to your computer and send data files.

Visit for more information on the 9505A and details of price.

Pros: anywhere connection, rugged design, data capabilities

Cons: no other choice, Iridium service only (i.e. no cellular, wireless LAN support)