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It's not hard to imagine the day when we'll all keep tiny wireless
phones tucked into pockets and purses. The pintsize communicators
will provide dial-up service anywhere in the world. Weel, it seems
this day is a lot closer than we thought, specially after Iridium LLC
launched its much-anticipated satellite internet phone service.
Iridium intended to solve the frustrations that globe-trotting travelers
experience with the current generation of wireless phones, that is
service fades out as soon as you wander outside the range of your
provider's landlocked transmitters and receivers. Moreover,
different wireless technologies make it impossible to use your cell
phone in other parts of the world.

Iridium sidestepped the issue by creating a grid of 66 low-orbiting
satellites designed to be in range of all places at all times. When you
make a call, Iridium zaps the signal to the nearest system satellite,
bounces it to the orbiter closest to the person you're calling and then
beams it back down to earth. If the call recipient also has Iridium
service, the signal goes directly to his or her phone. If not, the call
is routed through a traditional, ground-based system. Either way,
should the urge strike you, you could check your voice mail from
the summit of Mount Everest or join a conference call from the wilds
of Easter Island.

The satellite internet phones are not trouble free yet. The phone
can't connect with the satellites unless it has a clear path to the sky,
unimpeded by buildings or trees. You can't get a connection standing
in the middle of the street, surrounded by vehicles and buildings.
There are other drawbacks too, like when you do link up with the
satellites, the signal quality is second-rate.

As competitors such as Globalstar and ICO Global Communications
enter the market in the years ahead, satellite internet phones will
undoubtedly evolve and become smaller, better and cheaper.

Another interesting developing use is internet communication. Are
you also beyond the reach of DSL or cable? New satellite Internet
bi-directional phone services offer high-speed hope. Your local phone
company won't laugh anymore when you ask about DSL. And your
cable company won't reply with "someday" when you ask about a
cable modem. Industry figures suggest that about 32 million homes
in U.S. only will never be eligible for DSL or cable modem service!
The great hope for many with this problem is satellite Internet
access service. The first-generation consumer satellite Internet links,
which providers call one-way links, let you receive data over the
satellite link, but required a phone line to send it. These new-
generation satellite Internet connections operate two-way, so you
don't need a phone line.

Many rural residents are now able to work from home via the
satellite Internet. And some companies see this as a way to improve
overall worker productivity. Doctors who work with information can
work from anywhere as long as the necessary connections for
communication are in place. The Internet provides that connection,
including satellite internet phone services. With Satellite Internet
Access the rural areas without cable or DSL service are able to
support almost any kind of business. The location doesn't matter.

The satellite Internet is also becoming an important tool in providing
quality healthcare to rural areas. Telemedicine and teleradiology are
new ways rural hospitals are offering their patients the best care
possible. They use teleradiology to treat its patients. This technology
allows small rural hospitals greater access to sub-specialty care. The
hospital only has a radiologist available four hours a day. But through
teleradiology, the hospital's radiological technicians are able to
generate images with digital equipment and send the images to
specialists via the Internet.

Calling over the internet is not only the wave of the future, but the
wave of today! It is beginning to transform the landscape of
telecommunications in a big way. An internet phone call does not have
the same limitations as the standard landline, and can be used
anywhere. The new laws & proceeding changing in the technology
has even improved the emergency 911 service for all internet
telephony users of services like Lingo, Vonnage, Packet8, AT&T, etc.
And the best part is that satellite internet phone services are here
to stay.

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