Iridium is one of largest satellite phone company in terms of subscribers. Hundred of thousand people uses iridium bases phones . However it must be kept in mind that if you purchase a iridium bases phone you would only be able to use it with with iridium based services. The models for satellite phones used are as below Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone is the ultimate in trusted. Iridium 9505A Satellite Phone, Iridium 9505A US Satellite Phone, Beam RemoteSAT – RST100, Beam TranSAT (Fixed) RST620, ASE ComCenter II Series, Aircell ST 3100, Beam SatRADIO (Portable) – RST825, Beam RapidSAT (Portable) – RST625
The best part of using these sort of phones are that you can even use it on while you are cruising and also while you are taking a chartered flight. All major routes of the world are covered by iridium. The coverage map can be found here on their website. This map not only cover the air route coverage map but also the other coverage maps which are covered . The site is here http://www.iridium.com/support/library/CoverageMaps.aspx .
The industries where satellite phones are needed most are Adventure Travel, Aviation, Emergency, Government, Heavy Industry, Maritime, Military, Transportation. Also following are the services which are most commonly provided by satellite phones and its providers Phones, Iridium OpenPort, Modems & Modules, Voice Services, Data Services, LRIT Tracking and Monitoring, Personal Locator Beacons, Accessories, Docking Stations. Also here are the most common applications of Satellite phones Asset Tracking, Automation & Control, Crew Calling, Email, Encryption, Fleet Management, Monitoring, Netted Communications, Personnel Tracking, Safety Services.
Iridium claims that their service is most reliable and around a staff of 400 persons monitor the traffic and quality of traffic every moment in order to avoid any problem in service. They also claim that their network is very reliable and the coverage stretches far all over the globe and they outperform their competitors. However you must also read third party reviews before you finally make your purchase as once you purchase the phone you are almost stuck with that service provider.