Users can already send data using their own ISPs but the traffic moves at a leisurely 2.4Kbit/s. With the data kits, which consist of a serial connector and software, speeds of up to 10Kbit/s are possible.
While pricing hasn’t yet been set, a Rocom spokesman believes data will be charged at around $US1.50 a minute. The kits should arrive in New Zealand in the next three weeks.
“It only works with the Motorola 9500 phones at the moment - there’s a bug in the software on the 9505s. It also depends on the software on the phone itself - older phones will need a flash upgrade,” says the spokesman.
Iridium’s satellite network was about to be “de-orbited” after the company went into receivership, however a contract from the US department of defence revitalised the service.