Mobile Phone

Notice

The prices of some accessories for IRIDIUM satellite mobile phones have been revised since January 4, 2016.

Overview & Features

Service description

Communications between Iridium handsets does not pass through a terrestrial network, but rather goes via satellites. When calling to other telephones, for example fixed phones and mobiles, the signals first pass through Satellite Earth Station in the United States, and then connect to terrestrial network.

Image: IRIDIUM satellite network

Service features

The whole globe is in coverage

Image: The whole globe is in coverage

66 satellites are in low orbit at a height of 780 km above the earth, giving coverage to nearly the entire globe [1]. The IRIDIUM is effective in places where mobile and PHS phones are unusable or where other communication methods are unavailable [2].

  1. [1]
    Not available in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the northeastern region of Sri Lanka. Besides, you may not be allowed to bring in and use IRIDIUM satellite mobile phones purchased through a contract with KDDI in some countries.
  2. [2]
    As IRIDIUM signals can be interrupted by obstacles, a call may not be made indoors or in places with a very limited view of the sky.

Light and compact ideal for portable use

Light and compact design that fits your hand with an internal antenna. Satellites cover the whole Earth meaning there is no need to face the antenna in a particular direction, so connection is possible even when you are on the move.

Spare satellites in readiness

Image: Spare satellites in readiness

Along with the 66 satellites in use, there are also spare satellites. If something happens to the satellites being used, these spare satellites are ready to take over so there will be no interruptions.

License to operate in Japan

KDDI is a telecommunications carrier [3] that has a license to legally use the Iridium service within Japan.

  1. [3]
    To use this service within Japan (within Japan proper and on board vessels with Japanese registration), it is necessary to subscribe to the service with a telecommunications carrier that has obtained a wireless station license. KDDI CORPORATION has obtained an Iridium wireless station license. Further, the only Iridium handsets allowed to be used are those that have reached the various technical standards established by Japanese law. For further information about the necessity of a wireless station license, please see the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications FAQ at the following URL.

Open link in a new windowAnswers to FAQ [Radio Department]

Operating environment of IRIDIUM satellite mobile phones

  • IRIDIUM satellite mobile phones communicate with satellites in high-speed orbit at an altitude of approximately 780 km above the earth. When a satellite that is transmitting the signal reaches the horizon, the signal is relayed to another satellite, allowing your phone call to continue. To achieve uninterrupted communication, an environment with an open sky that allows the IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone to always be seen by multiple IRIDIUM satellites is necessary.
  • The ideal operating environment is a location that has a 360-degree view of the sky, with no obstructions beyond an elevation angle of 8.2 degrees above the horizontal plane centered at the IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone antenna, as shown in the illustration below. Satellite signals may not be received when indoors, in a mountainous area, or in an area with obstacles such as tall structures or dense foliage.
  • IRIDIUM operates in the 1.6 GHz frequency band, which is less susceptible to the effects of weather (such as clouds, fog, rain, snow, wind, and ash).

How to make a call

Dialing to make a call from an IRIDIUM phone

How to dial to make a call from an IRIDIUM phone to a fixed phone 00-country code-area code excluding the first 0-telephone number
How to dial to make a call from an IRIDIUM phone to a mobile phone 00-country code-mobile telephone number excluding the first 0

Dialing to make a call between to IRIDIUM phones

How to dial between to IRIDIUM phones 00-IRIDIUM phone number

Dialing to make a call to an IRIDIUM phone

Calls to an IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone are treated as an international call using the 001 International Calling Service. Accordingly, when making a call from landline phones, mobile phones and PHS to an IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone, it is necessary to set and register each device to allow you to make an international call.

How to dial from a fixed phone or a mobile phone to an IRIDIUM phone 001-010-IRIDIUM phone number
Open link in a new windowHow to make an international call
  • open "001 to the world"

How to make a test call

If you want to check if your Iridium satellite mobile phone can make an outgoing call, use a test call free of charge.

Download PDF fileHow to make a test call (in Japanese only) (399KB)

Please read the following before subscribing to the service.

  • Iridium satellite mobile phones do not support calls to emergency numbers (#110, #119 or #118) and toll-free numbers, free calls, pay-per-calls, and calls to special numbers in Japan.
  • Calls originating from Iridium satellite mobile phones may be indicated to the receiving party as anonymous (phone number is concealed). Your call cannot be connected if the receiving party was employing a setup to reject anonymous calls.
  • A call made to an Iridium satellite mobile phone is equivalent to an international call using 001 International Calling Service. No subscription is required for using the 001 for International Calls from an au mobile phone.
    Open link in a new windowHow to make an international call
    • open "001 to the world"
    When using the service from a non-au mobile phone, please make your subscription to Free Call (0077-7160). After registration is complete, calls can be made to an IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone from your mobile phone by following the dialing procedure above. Calls cannot be made to an IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone with the "au International Calling Service" beginning with "005345".
  • Satellite signals may not be received when indoors, in a mountainous area, or in an area with obstacles such as tall structures or dense foliage. To achieve uninterrupted communication, an environment with an open sky that allows the IRIDIUM satellite mobile phone to always be seen by multiple IRIDIUM satellites is necessary.