- Stephane Plihon
NEW Iridium GO! Coming...
Iridium has not announced it yet (as of December 2022) but PredictWind, a partner of Iridium, has negotiated an exclusive early offer to the Iridium GO! Exec for their existing customers (units shipping late January 2023).
The Iridium GO! Exec will be 40 times faster than the original Iridium GO!, so in theory 96 Kbps bandwidth. It will be especially helpful to download more weather data but also to upload some simple social media posts while offshore.
One typical weather download is 200kb, so 10 weather downloads is 2MB. When considering they take seconds rather than 20 minutes with the Iridium GO, its a real game changer.
The unit will also act like an Iridium phone (coming soon). There is no keypad visible so there will probably be an option to save phone numbers into the unit using an application.
With the GO! you need to connect the Iridium GO! app using your mobile phone to make a call, not the optimum solution from a life raft.
Dimensions: 200mm x 200mm x 30mm
USB-C connection (5 Volt, 3amp power adapter)
Note: can also be powered from a 2amp USB outlet
Transmit/Receive: 15 Watts
Standby: 5 Watts
New Sim card: now can be activated and deactivated (only need one!)
External antenna is spec'd for the Certus 100 (different internals) but looks the same as the original Iridium GO!
Internal battery, not user replaceable. Need to be sent to Iridium for replacement.
Cable is 5 meter long (not recommended extending beyond 5 meters with the LMR400 cable - length specified by Iridium)
Internal speaker - can be used on its own for calls
Ethernet port - can connect to a computer or router
Certus 100 modem inside.
Download speeds are up to 88kbps
Upload speeds are up to 22kbps
Battery: 6 hour talk time, 20 hour standby
Built-in GPS for the SOS function
PredictWind Tracking page is done by the DataHub connected to the Iridium GO! Exec.
Built-in firewall to block background traffic
The Iridium GO! Exec unit will cost $1,600 ($1,750 post launch offer?). In comparison the Iridium GO! unit costs $900. Quite a bit more expensive but definitely interesting if you were considering to buy or rent a satellite phone as an emergency solution for long passages.
The table below compares the PredictWind pricing plans for the GO! and GO! Exec. For the GO! Exec you will have the choice between 4 monthly and 2 yearly plans. No more 'Unlimited' plan but 25MB or 50MB will be plenty if your main priority is to download weather data information with some occasional social media updates.
If you sign up for an annual plan the unused data will be lost at the end of the year (no roll over). You will get alerts when you reach different percentages of your limit. If you go over then you are charged per MB (Cost/MB to be confirmed at a later date).
The Iridium GO! is not going away with the release of the Exec version.
Note: PredictWind just increased their Iridium GO! pricing. Pre-Christmas 2022 pricing was:
GO! Basic: $60/month
GO! Plus: $105/month
GO! Unlimited: $115/month
PredictWind is launching the PredictMail service that will work exclusively with the GO! Exec unit. Emails will be compressed into a satellite-friendly format and filtered to minimize data usage. It will require the DataHub for an additional $300.
Note: PredictMail is compatible with all POP3 email clients.
The DataHub will give you additional features like GPS tracking, transmit wind data, broadcast GPS data/internet/AIS data, boat polars, log data, remote support...
GPS Tracking - The amount of data for one position report is 200 bytes. The minimum charged billing increments for a connection is 5kb So for just tracking, 30 days on hourly tracking will use 3.6 MB.
This can be changed in the settings to collect position reports every hour or 15 minutes, and send them each 4 hours for example.
You can also use the DataHub to check for mail every hour, and send the tracking reports at the same time to efficiently use the 5kb minimum billing increment. All data (GPS tracking, checking email...) is counted towards your plan.
On Sailing Awen we are very much interested in getting the Iridium GO! Exec as the increased bandwidth will give us the option to download more weather data information when necessary: wider area, higher resolution, increased number of days, additional models, observations... We feel the entry plans (25MB and 50MB) offer plenty of data for weather updates, some email and social media updates during an ocean crossing.
Also, we were planning on renting a satellite phone for long passages so we can justify the additional cost of the GO! Exec unit compared to the GO!
What do you think? Leave a comment below...