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December 02, 2014

GPS Tracking on the Iridium Extreme (9575): How Does It Work?

One of the nice perks of the Iridium Extreme satellite phone is that it has an integrated GPS. This means that you can do GPS tracking over the Iridium network, giving you coverage everywhere on the planet.

But how does it work? Does it consume your regular airtime? How much does it cost to do satellite GPS tracking with the Iridium Extreme?

How Does Tracking Work on the Iridium Extreme?

Iridium ExtremeTracking on the Iridium Extreme goes over a channel on the Iridium network called LBS. LBS (location based services) is different from the channel that sends voice, data, and SMS and is therefore charged separately, with its own distinct airtime pricing.

LBS is a proprietary subset of a type of satellite transmission protocol called SBD (short burst data). Both LBS and SBD can only send very small bits of data at a time - a max of 1000 bytes - so it’s limited to data transmission like location reports, which are extremely small in size.

Tracking on the Iridium Extreme can be set up to go out on regular intervals or to simply send out a position report every time the phone registers. Tracking on an regular schedule with the Iridium Extreme has the benefit of keeping friends and family back home updated at a routine progress, but means that your phone needs to be powered on and registered with the network the entire time.

If you set your tracking to go out whenever you register you’ll get much less frequent position reports, but you’ll conserve power and not spend as much in airtime.

Does Iridium Extreme Tracking Consume Regular Airtime?

No. Tracking on the Iridium Extreme will not consume your regular voice or data minutes. Airtime for Iridium Extreme tracking is completely separate and in addition to your prepaid or postpaid airtime for your phone.

Furthermore, you must have an active SIM card (with either prepaid or postpaid airtime) in order to also use the Iridium Extreme’s tracking feature.

Where Can I See My Satellite Position Reports?

RedPort TrackingWhen Iridium receives the position reports from your Iridium Extreme satellite phone, it can then send those position reports to a LBS-certified third-party provider to then show your position and history on a map. Global Marine Networks works with RedPort Tracking, an industry-leading tracking platform that consists of a detailed, robust online tracking interface that provides:

  • Real-time Position and Tracking

  • Longitude and latitude info

  • Emergency alarm/ SOS/Movement alarm/ Overspeed alarm/ Border crossing alert.

  • Geo-fence alarm

  • Course and Speed (on web-based tracking site)

  • Web-based tracking or mobile-phone-based tracking

  • Central Monitoring system (web-base)

  • History of tracking movements

  • Ability to track hundreds of vessels or assets on one web-based monitoring system

RedPort Tracking ScreenShot

How Much Does Tracking on the Iridium Extreme Cost?

Basic tracking for the Iridium Extreme starts at $29.95 per month. This includes approximately 220 position reports per month (about 7 per day, or about once every 3 hours). The frequency of the position reports can increase, but each additional position report will incur an overage fee.

There is a one-time new account setup fee of $59 that goes towards the configuration of your web-based tracking account, setting up tracking on your Iridium phone, and making sure your phone is correctly relaying position reports.

Note: pricing good as of publication of this post. Please contact us for the most up-to-date pricing info for any of our products or services.

Needing Tracking for Your Iridium Extreme?

Feel free to contact us to learn more about tracking for the Iridium Extreme or to set up your Iridium Extreme tracking account.

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