Iridium has been offering satellite phones for some time now to those who can't depend on terrestrial cell networks. The latest in the line is the Iridium Extreme, a rugged satphone resistant to water, shocks, and dust. As a phone, it offers only the most basic features: 4 hours of talk time, GPS, a 200-character black & white text display, SMS, and a 100-entry internal phonebook.
There's one more important feature, however: the ability to hook up to the new AxcessPoint Wi-Fi hotspot module over a USB cable. Data speeds will be a paltry 26kbps, but it's hard to complain about speed when you have a Wi-Fi hotspot that should work anywhere on the planet. Iridium is also launching a Windows app called AxcessPoint Connect, which will turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot when connected to the satphone.
Pricing on the AxcessPoint hotspot should be under $200, available later this year. The Iridium Extreme and AxcessPoint software are available now.
Source: Iridium Extreme, Iridium AxcessPoint; via PCMag