Everyone’s talking about unplugging these days — climbing a mountain, trekking through the forest, finding your way to a truly secluded beach. Central to that concept is turning off notifications, uninstalling work apps or even — if you’re feeling especially brave — leaving the phone at home for a week or two. But is paradise truly paradise if you can’t check your work email the entire time? Who’s to say, really?
Iridium — the satellite service that recently teamed up with Qualcomm for SOS messaging on Android — today announced the Go Exec, a new mobile hotspot designed to bring the internet with you basically anywhere. There are, of course, plenty of folks who could benefit from such always-on connectivity — first responders, sailors and pilots come to mind — but as the name suggests, the company is also appealing to the real heroes: corporate executives. I suppose there’s an argument that some people at the head of organizations simply can’t afford to unplug for a full week — at the very least, it’s useful to have some connection to the outside world, in case of emergency.
The system is an update to 2014’s Iridium Go. It’s more compact and lighter, while providing faster speeds than its predecessor, with up to 22 Kbps up and 88 Kbps second down. Not blazing fast speeds here by any means, but we’re talking about bringing internet access to places where there is none. The system can stream up to two voice calls at once, and has a mic and speaker built-in to double as a speakerphone.
“Compact” is also a bit relative for this space. The device measures 8 x 8 x 1 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds. On second thought, it might be a bit much to take up that mountain with you. “Cheaper,” too, is relative. Currently resellers are offering the product at $1,500-$2,000.
The on-board battery offers up to six hours of voice/data usage or 24 hours of standby time. Iridium says the following apps “pair well” with the device: WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Signal, Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Twitter, Opera, Venmo and Google Home. Iridium also has a custom email client designed for use with the product, along with an API for app developers. In addition, Iridium is offering an external antenna specifically designed for remote locales.