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July 24, 2015

Iridium Satellite Airtime Changes Summer 2015


Iridium has implemented a few satellite airtime changes this summer, notably for its popular Iridium Pilot service. We'll walk you through the changes and show you some of the nice new additions to Iridium satellite service.

Iridium Pilot Satellite AirtimeIridium Pilot 1000 Minute Satellite Airtime Rebate

Iridium has a plethora of airtime options available for the Iridium Pilot, but the most popular plan for seasonal and recreational users is the Value Plan. On this plan you pay a low monthly access fee and then "pay as you go" for both data and voice calling. This is an excellent plan for users with very low data requirements. (In fact, we think it's such a great plan we based an entire guide for affordable satellite broadband use on it. You can read that guide here).

Traditionally, the Value Plan was available at 32, 64, and 128 kbps and cost $39 a month.

Going forward, the Value Plan will only be available at 128 kbps and cost $49 a month. Overage on this plan is now $13.60 per MB.

This change affects both existing and new subscribers.

The good news with this plan is that now all Value Plan subscribers will have 128 kbps service for much less than it was before. (Previous monthly price for 128 kbps service was $69 a month).

Of course, at $13.60 per MB for overage, we would definitely recommend either a Combo Plan or a Custom Bundle for users who anticipate using more than about 2 MB of data per month.

Iridium GO! Satellite AirtimeIridium Go Satellite WiFi, VoIP, Apps, and Email

In the first airtime change for Iridium GO! since the service started more than a year ago, Iridium announced a change for 3 of its Iridium GO! postpaid plans. Notably, it has enabled voice calling to consume the satellite airtime minutes included with Iridium GO! postpaid plans. (Previously, only data minutes were included in the monthly allotments).

Iridium GO! 75 - Includes 75 minutes of airtime per month to be used for either voice or data calls.
Iridium GO! 150 - Includes 75 minutes of airtime per month to be used for either voice or data calls. Also includes unlimited SMS.
Iridium GO! Unlimited - Includes unlimited data minutes and SMS per month and now 150 voice minutes.

None of these plans increased in price. Current subscribers will be able to immediately start using their minutes for either voice or data while they still have minutes available in their monthly allotments.

Note that the Iridium GO! 5 plan does not include voice minutes in the 5 minutes of airtime included per month. All voice calls on that plan are counted as overage at $1.17 per minute.

Iridium Worldwide Postpaid Satellite Airtime

Iridium Postpaid Satellite AirtimeFor users on postpaid accounts with phones like the Iridium Extreme, Iridium 9555, Iridium 9505a/9505, RedPort Aurora, and RST-100, there have been some similar changes for postpaid airtime plans. Traditionally there was only one plan available for Iridium worldwide postpaid airtime: the Basic Plan for $50.50 a month. While that plan still exists (and recently added 10 minutes per month free of charge), there are now two more postpaid options for Iridium satellite phone users:

Iridium Postpaid Worldwide: The 75 Plan - includes 75 minutes per month to be used for both voice and data use.
Iridium Postpaid Worldwide: The 150 Plan - includes 150 minutes per month to be used for both voice and data use. Also includes unlimited SMS.

Further Reading

Not sure which satellite phone or system is right for you? We want to help you understand the complicated world of satellite equipment so that you can make the best choice for your needs. Here are a few free resources you can use to learn about satellite communications.

Affordable Satellite Broadband Internet

Free Guide to Affordable Satellite Broadband Internet

Satellite Communications at Sea

Free Guide to Blue Water Cruising Communications

Free Satellite Consultation

Free Satellite Communications Consultation

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