Satellite radio system boosts connectivity

Satellite PTT radio The Satellite PTT radio can be used by organisations in need of real-time communications throughout areas lacking ground infrastructure. Credit: Icom

Icom has partnered with Iridium with the aim of developing and manufacturing a satellite press-to-talk (PTT) radio that will aim to enable users to communicate whenever they want, wherever they are in the world.

The Satellite PTT radio is the first satellite-based handheld developed by Icom and will be based on a professional handheld radio using the satellite communication network of US-based Iridium. It will offer real-time, multi-user communication throughout the world with the push of a PTT (Press-To-Talk) button. Direct contact between Iridium’s multiple satellites will ensure a stable and reliable connection even if large-scale incidents occur, said the companies.

Masataka Harima, president of Japan-based Icom, which specialises in the land-mobile radio (LMR), said: "Icom has been developing various wireless communications equipment for use on land, sea and air for many years. The Satellite PTT project will become an important part of our product line-up that covers all areas from the surface of the earth to space."

Remote suitability

This new device will be ideally suited for remote workers, first responders, global military, NGOs and other organizations in need of real-time communications throughout areas lacking ground infrastructure. Iridium PTT technology allows teams to remain closely coordinated with their headquarters or other field teams around the world, instantly, regardless of geography.

Both Icom's and Iridium's distribution networks will offer the new handheld, expanding Icom's presence to the satellite industry and bringing Iridium's satellite PTT capabilities to Icom's existing global sales network. The new handheld is expected to be available in 2019.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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