Iridium plans NEXT-gen satellite phones

Remember that advert with the guy trudging across Arctic tundra when his phone rings? He pulls out an Iridium satellite handset and presumably starts

Remember that advert with the guy trudging across Arctic tundra when his phone rings? He pulls out an Iridium satellite handset and presumably starts chatting away about the weather.Well, despite most people assuming Iridium had simply disappeared, that chap's still plodding away through the wilderness with his big old sat phone. Soon, though, he could be about to get an upgrade.The international network has announced its plans for a 'next generation' of space dishes that'll not just bounce conversations around the globe but high-speed data, GPS and satellite images as well – just like a proper mobile.The Iridium NEXT network will involve a 'constellation' of new satellites that'll boost data speeds from a crippling 2.4Kbps to a Broadband-beating 10Mbps.Just one hitch, the technology hasn't been built yet. The company hopes to get it up and running by 2016, by which time 10Mbps will seem like dial-up. Keep trudging old man.

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