Iridium Axcess Point works with Iridium 9555 and 9575 (showing).
Image by Iridium
HumanEdgeTech review: Iridium 9575 - GPS and wifi hotspot

Posted: Sep 15, 2011 03:08 pm EDT
( Last week during a press conference Iridium CEO Matthew J. Desch launched the new Iridium phone Extreme.

The phone is a little smaller, lighter and tougher than the previous model 9555 but for explorers it's a small attachment that might just revolutionize dispatching.

IRIDIUM 9575 handset

The new 9575 has built in GPS which allows tracking and SOS with positions attached. Check specs here.


The new AxcessPoint connects by USB to Iridium 9575 (or the previous 9555 model) and establishes a wifi hotspot.

This is a much more simple solution than offered earlier by Iridium or other service providers.

IRIDIUM into new times?

Since joining Iridium in 1996 Desch has brought the company to Nasdaq and completed financing of the next-generation satellites planned to be up by 2015-16.

Satellite phone companies are generally infamous for bad support and lack of understanding of the consumer market. Desch might be moving Iridium and its close to 500,000 subscribers into new times however.

During the press conference the Iridium CEO stressed the importance of extending the reach of Iridium beyond satellite phones. Simplify and open up the technology to partners was also on the agenda.

This spring at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs Tom Sjogren of HumanEdgeTech met with Inmarsat CEO Andy Sukawaty to discuss that company's plans for 100 times faster satellite internet in 2014.

All the upgraded satellite fleets and merge with mobile promise much excitement in the near future.

CONTACT, Iridium and iPhone

Any computer with wifi including iPhone, iPad and Android devices can access the internet with the new Iridium AxcessPoint. Tom Sjogren explained:

"After a hard day of skiing or climbing we're all ready for the KISS (keep it short and simple). That, plus minimizing weight and redundancy, are such keys to successful expedition technology."

"Iridium is moving forward and we have recognized the opportunities," Sjogren said. "Right now two of our programmers work on iPhone, iPAD and Android versions of CONTACT aiming at beta launch around October 1. It will be really cool to be able to bring the iPhone to the South Pole and hook up to the internet - something that hasn't been possible so far - this is fun."

Antarctica 2011/2012

No matter how hot, new (untested) tech is not always the smartest choice for an important, hard and costly expedition though. If you are going the distance - leaving early November and skiing all the way to the Pole - we would not recommend the new Iridium 9575 as a first choice.

Stick to the 9555 or 9505A but do bring 9575 as a backup to play with until all the usual tech glitches have been ironed out.

The 9575 should be an excellent choice however for last degree and Vinson expeditions.

HumanEdgeTech is a unique, no-nonsense virtual expedition tech warehouse for satellite communications and edge technology. Created by explorers for explorers, the store is user-friendly with no-hassle pricing, expedition-tested gear, expedition-ready hardware, fast delivery and payments. accepts most international credit cards, and delivers worldwide within 72 hours. Contact Tom and the Human Edge Tech Team at +1 212 966 1928 or by email

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