[asterisk-users] Iridium integration / gateway

Tim S tim.strommen at gmail.com
Wed Apr 4 01:25:49 CDT 2018

Hi, I use an Iridium 9555 handset and a "POTSdock".

       This takes a standard 9555 handset, gives it a fixed antenna
mount, and a telco service jack.  Interfacing to the POTSdock, is a
matter of providing an analog POTS interface as if you were attaching
to a standard POTS phone provider.  The dock generated standard
dial-tone and DTMF control.  Iridium provides a test phone number you
can make calls from, and there are serial commands you can issue to
the handset to get service status, and account information, or Iridium
voicemail status.  Be aware that rates are and order or two or three
of magnitude higher than most POTS providers.  Minutes can be in the
multiple USD each range.

I generally do my VoIP as a cost routing:
1st, Cable modem (unlimited data, business internet)
2nd, Cellular Data (data unlimited to 25GB/month, then rate reduced to
5GB/month rate)
3rd, Cellular Voice (unlimited minutes, lower voice quality due to CODEC change)
4th, Iridium Voice (expensive minutes, lowest voice quality due to
CODEC change, very high voice lag 1-3 seconds, more likely to work
while everything else is down locally)

If you want to roll your own embedded VoIP system, the Iridium 9523
modem engine is available as a module at retail, and takes the same
basic serial commands to establish voice or data calls.  The
development manuals are available with a Google search.  Be aware that
FCC or ITU certification is required if you embed an RF module in an
end product - which is why I went the POTSdock route.

I also use the SBD modem modules (both 9603 and 9602) to do basic
telemetry and status reporting when conventional network access is
limited.  The rates for sending a partial packet of data are very
reasonable, and you can message from modem directly to another modem
without traversing the commercial internet or phone infrastructure.
Very useful for rebooting a remote router that has crashed and is
blocking phone or internet access. ;-)

If you've been following the news, SpaceX has been lofting the
IridiumNEXT constellation to replace the legacy constellation from the
1990's (STILL running a good 20 years past design life) - and they are
expecting to modernize their subscriber equipment and rate plans.
They have three more launches to get the complete replacement
constellation in orbit, and they will be fixing the periodic dead
spots in their network as a result.

I can try to answer questions on my use case.



On Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 10:01 PM, Jean-Denis Girard <jd.girard at sysnux.pf> wrote:
> Hi list,
> I have a request to integrate Iridium in a Asterisk system. A quick
> search didn't return much: I expected to find products similar to GSM
> gateways, but this does not seem to exist. so I'd be very interested
> about possible solutions. Has it be done already, how?
> Thanks,
> --
> Jean-Denis Girard
> SysNux                   Systèmes   Linux   en   Polynésie  française
> https://www.sysnux.pf/   Tél: +689 / GSM: +689 87.797.527
> --
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