If you travel to remote places but need business-critical access to e-mail or the Internet, satellite phone provider Iridium Communications has introduced a new product that might be able to give it to you.
Its AxcessPoint mobile Wi-Fi hot spot provides Web access to select smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi, allowing people traveling in parts of the world with no cellular signal to access basic Internet functionality, such as e-mail and Web surfing, over its satellite communications network.
The AxcessPoint hot spot plugs into an Iridium phone and then offers connectivity to BlackBerry, Android, and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi. The data connection is slow: about 2.4 kilobits per second, so the service is limited to e-mail and basic Web browsing, since those services must be compressed. Mapping apps, such as Google Maps and Google Navigation, as well as weather apps that constantly update weather, won’t work.
Iridium plans for the AxcessPoint to work with Apple’s iOS, Google Android, and RIM BlackBerry devices. Apple iOS users will need an app from iTunes to use the AxcessPoint, but Android and BlackBerry devices do not require an app to work with Iridium.
While you can buy the AxcessPoint hot spot from a satellite service provider for less than $200, the Iridium handsets range from $400 for a used device to $1,200 for the latest model. Satellite services that resell Iridium’s service cost roughly $1 to $1.20 a minute.
Read more at CNET.