Talk:Iridium Communications

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Former good article nominee Iridium Communications was a Engineering and technology good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
October 13, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed

Patents for Production?[edit]

Does anyone have a source for this? Perhaps the patents in question? I'm not doubting its true, I'm just interested in learning more about what exactly they figured out. Thanks! Davandron | Talk 18:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Misc[edit]

How far north and south does it work? Does it work at both poles? Edward 16:57, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have added the nations interdicted to the use of the Iridium Network, but I don't know why they are interdicted. I've tried to find the reason on the internet, but I didn't find it. giandrea 21:52, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Note Oct 2005, with the importance of Renewable energy it's good to tell that the satellites are all solar powered and have performed better than expected. Their life is now double the original estimate. The phones also have an optional solar panel that can be connected to allow them to run where no local power is available. The phones also have advanced lithium batteries which is now becoming the worlds leading standard for light , powerful long lasting batteries.

Other wireless land based communications companies use a lot of electric power and have high emmission backup generators. Jim 22:25 gmt Oct 27, 2005
All-electric powered? Unlikely, its rather difficult to do station keeping with electric powered propulsion systems. They're likely to have either liquid fuel or xenon-impulse propulsion systems for station keeping; and all modern satellites use electricity for as much electrical use as possible, the rest comes from batteries... --Kiand 17:30, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Any they were certainly launched on chemical rockets. I'd be willing to bet that the overall fossil fuel consumption per minuite of call time on iridium (including the cost of setup and replacement of the satalite grid) is almost certainly higher than that of a ground based mobile phone network. Plugwash 19:24, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Hate to reply to an ancient discussion, and I'm not trying to perform any necromancy here, but I would like to point out that chemical rockets do not use fossil fuels. They use things like liquid oxygen (probably pretty clean) and solid fuels that are not fossil fuels. Fossil fuels aren't good rocket propellant. So the amount of fossil fuels per minute for Iridium users would be zero. The ground-based cell network, however, does not get off so lucky because of the tons of fossil fuel used to run the trucks used install and maintain the towers. At least until at least one of the carriers goes green. Here's hoping. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 01:25, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Liquid oxygen is an oxidiser, it needs to be combined with a fuel to produce thrust. Afaict the common liquid fuels for the first stage of rockets (the part that burns the most fuel) are hydrogen and kerosene which are both usually petroleum-derived. Plugwash (talk) 12:49, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Cleanup Listing[edit]

I've listed this page for cleanup on the grounds that too much of it reads like a corporate presentation on behalf of the company - for instance

  • Iridium Satellite now provides the following services,
  • Please note that to use this service, you MUST be an International SOS member through one of their qualifying programs
  • As an Iridium voice subscriber, your phone performs double-duty as a voice communication and messaging device.

Its possibly also a copyright violation. I find the whole Iridium network a fascinating idea, but the current presentation is unencyclopaedic. --Neo 16:21, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Shouldn't the phrase "Last week" be changed to an actual date?

"In 2000, Iridium Satellite plans to target industrial business markets, such as aviation and oil and gas exploration concerns, as well as government customers. The company last week signed a contract with the Pentagon to serve 20,000 U.S. Defense Department workers over two years, which cleared the way for completion of its acquisition of the old Iridium's assets."

Also, this sentence makes no sense:

"However, fortunes has change for the company were the Iridium satellites provides the sole satellite global handset which is used in mostly in Africa, the Middle East, Russia and South America." 70.119.99.200 (talk) 16:45, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


Reference 30 is broken Andru Witta (talk) 08:38, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

This page should be put-up for updating?[edit]

It sounds like although Iridium filled for Chapter 11th, they seem to be back and talking about adding new technologies, (Iridium Announces Plan to Introduce New Cost-Effective Satellite Fax Service this Year) and getting more financing and new customers. (Iridium Closes $32 Million Credit Facility with Bank of America). Based on that I think that Chapter 11 part could be put in the past tense. Etc. How do you put articles up for suggested group updating on Wikipedia? This page requires a small army. CaribDigita 18:34, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Its a pretty typical story: startup with grand idea gets financing somehow and startup spends far more than they can afford on infrastructure. startup goes bankrupt under the debt but the infrastruture they have purchased is worth more as a going concern than it would be worth if sold off peicemeal so the system the startup built is kept running. Plugwash 01:36, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

what exactly does interdicted mean in this context?[edit]

prohibited by law? technically blocked by the satalites? what? Plugwash 21:46, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Interestingly, people in Hungary don't know about this restriction, a provider and a news magazine (sorry, Hungarian only) only list the other three countries.

The European Radiocommunications Office lists Hungary and Poland with frequency licensing issues.

Does anybody know what the current situation with any restrictions is in the mentioned countries? Winston.PL 11:02, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

what are the other two earth stations[edit]

in the present status section it says

"The system is being used extensively by the U.S. Department of Defense for its communication purposes through the DoD Gateway in Hawaii. The commercial Gateway in Tempe, Arizona provides voice, data and paging services for commercial customers on a global basis"

in the technical information section it says

"There are four earth stations"

so what exactly are the other two earth base stations?

Plugwash 23:16, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

There is one in alaska I think. -86.43.88.90 15:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Which still doesn't answer the what part only the where part. Plugwash 15:31, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


Baud[edit]

Baud is not a measurement unit for data rate. Please fix. --Xerces8 08:30, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Astroturfing[edit]

Someone called Liz DeCastro tried to astroturf on this article and removed a whole bunch of technical info. She is a high ranking Iridium staffer by the look of it. I even found a pic of her [1] Towel401 (talk) 12:47, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Could equally be a troublemaker pretending to be an irridum staff member. If it was really her I find the action rather odd as the information removed didn't seem to be negative about irridium. Plugwash (talk) 22:22, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

the 50 minute cards have no validity?[edit]

What does this mean? Taken literally, it suggests that the 50 minute cards are invalid which I'm sure is not what was meant. Does it mean that the 50 minute cards are valid indefinitely or that their validity expires almost immediately? --Richard (talk) 18:12, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

the 50 minute card does not extend the expiration date of the account. like the 75 minute one adds another month this one adds nothing Towel401 (talk) 18:18, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

This name makes the article look like it is about a satellite. In fact it is about the company and a communications network and associated equipment. I'd suggest a rename to Iridium Satellite LLC or to Iridium (company). Also at some point splitting out the network of the satellites into it's own article might make sense. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Maybe without the LLC part at the end, most companies on Wikipedia don't have that but I don't know the official policy for it. I was thinking of moving the satellite network to a different article but it would only confuse things since all of the constellation belongs to that company. Having 2 articles would be awkward Towel401 (talk) 00:51, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I considered leaving off the LLC, but since the term Iridium satellite is in use when talking about the satellites, leaving off the LLC could be confusing. Normally policy says don't use LLC unless you need it for disambiguation. For me, this is one of those cases. As to splitting the article, that becomes a judgment call. The more you mash into an article, the more confusing it can get. If there are logical splits that retain notability, then that material should be split, at least in my opinion. Another guide I like to use is, are there categories that would clearly apply to the split out material? If yes, then that is another reason to split. Vegaswikian (talk) 01:27, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Any article that would be split off should probably contain all the technical details and maybe even stuff about the subscriber units. The rest is all commercial but you will end up with a situation where both of these articles would have to be linked in Iridium while making it clear that one belongs to the other. and it would mean a good bit of duplicated content especially now Iridium 33 already has its own article. which maybe it shouldn't have if someone decides to split this Towel401 (talk) 02:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually no. At that time creating Iridium (disambiguation) would be proper and might even be justified now. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:30, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I'll also note that the size of this article is in the range where consideration should be given to splitting. The article in its current form is well over the 32K recommended size. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:21, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to do the move, especially since the constellation and satellites are in a second article. Once I cleanup up the links about the company, I switch the redirect to the satellite section. Vegaswikian (talk) 23:54, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Who was behind Iridium???[edit]

Could somebody please put in the article (under "History", I guess) who was behind Iridium, and who put up the money (and thus who lost their $6 billion)??? As I recall, Craig McCaw of McCaw Cellular Communications was one of the big investors. As I recall, his cellphone company also didn't make money for years and years, but in that case his cellphone company was able to continue operating by getting financing (mostly in the form of bonds, as I recall) - thus perhaps an initial unprofitability for Iridium would not have scared Craig McCaw??? Also, as I recall, Bill Gates put money into this, yes??? Can somebody who knows please address who put up the $6 billion? Thanks in advance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.166.203.210 (talk) 07:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Phone antenna shape, and fractal antennas[edit]

For the handset phones, is there a specific reason for the antenna to be so long?

Are they trying to use the most efficient (full wave) dipole length, or are they just trying to get the active element as far away from the user's head as is feasible, so that they can broadcast a stronger signal?

In the last ten use fractal antennas have taken off for use in regular cellphones to shrink their size. Do any satellite phones use fractal antennas?

DMahalko (talk) 15:16, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

File:45153-hi-satt01.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Bag phone & Iridium?[edit]

The article claims that Iridium phones exist as bag phones, but the link to bag phone just redirects to History of mobile phones, and that article makes no mention of bag phones.

There is an article Motorola Bag Phone, but that article does not mention Iridium.

It seems quite likely to me that there is, or was, such a thing as an Iridium bag phone, a Motorola Bag Phone or otherwise, but I can find no reference.

FrankSier (talk) 23:14, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

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