Satellite phone network Iridium is launching a box, about the size of a cigarette pack, that connects to an Iridium phone. The box produces a Wi-Fi hotspot that smartphones and tablet computers can connect to. The phone relays that connection to satellites overhead.
Iridium says the data speeds will be slower than dial-up, but they should be good enough for meaningful use of email.
Iridium Communications Inc. says the AxcessPoint will cost less than $200, but it needs to be paired with a phone that costs about $1,000. The data connection will cost about $1 per minute.