Iridium SBD Products & Plans

Short Burst Data (SBD) devices ensure that your sensors and assets can communicate from anywhere on Earth.

When you send or receive small packets of data (hundreds of bytes) in difficult geographic areas,
the Iridium SBD service may solve your problem. It uses the Iridium satellite network, which has
global coverage, and provides a vital means of communication for satellite IoT applications.
Iridium Products

Our Iridium satellite devices


RockBLOCK hosts an Iridium 9602 satellite modem and provides it with an antenna. Maybe you want to transmit weather information from mid-ocean? Perhaps you need to communicate in an emergency, when other networks might not be available? The small and robust RockBLOCK can help you.

RockBLOCK 9602


The RockREMOTE solution combines the RockREMOTE terminal, the Iridium Certus network and LTE cellular connectivity, end-to-end networking and the powerful Cloudloop platform. It can be tailored to address a variety of fixed and mobile communications challenges.



The RockSTAR Two-Way Messenger is a truly global communication device and tracking system. It allows you to send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a clear view of the sky. It works far beyond the reach of Wi-Fi and GSM networks.


Iridium Short Burst Data Service Plans and Pricing

For more information about our SBD Service Plans, please visit our dedicated Iridium SBD Pricing page.

Annual Plans
Pay-As-You-Go Plans - Line Rental
Pay-As-You-Go Plans - Running Costs

Satellite airtime isn’t cheap, and we pride ourselves on delivering great value for our customers. So, rather than having a small number of plans that will either see you rack up expensive overage fees, or pay for data you don’t use, we tailor our plans to every customer. These are example plans only; let us know what your data requirements are and we’ll make a plan that suits you.

Also, please note that our annual plans are available for any SBD device; our Pay-As-You-Go plans are exclusive to Ground Control manufactured devices.

Example Plan:
Low Usage
Mid Usage
High Usage
Price Per Month (USD):
Inclusive Data:
5,000 bytes
25,000 bytes
250,000 bytes
Overage Rate:
$3.15 per 1,000 bytes
$1.68 per 1,000 bytes
$0.79 per 1,000 bytes
Activation Fee:

Our pay-as-you-go plans offer great flexibility for development purposes, and are available for the RockBLOCK 9602 and RockBLOCK 9603 plug-and-play satellite transceivers, the RockSTAR personal tracking device, RockFLEET vehicle tracking device, and the RockAIR aircraft tracking device.

Pay-as-you-go plans are made up of line rental and credits (see next tab – Running Costs). Line rental allows the SBD device to exchange information with the Iridium satellite network. Credits are used each time you transmit.

RockBLOCK 9602, 9603, Plus
Price Per Month (USD):
Hybrid Satellite / Cellular Service:
+ $13.00 per month

Line rental allows the SBD device to exchange information with the Iridium satellite network. Credits are used each time you transmit. One credit is used per 50 bytes (or part thereof) of message sent or received. One credit is also used if you check your mailbox and there are no messages waiting (a mailbox check).

Be sure to check out our SBD Pricing page for full details of our Pay-As-You-Go service plans.

50 Credits
100 Credits
1,000 Credits
10,000 Credits
Per Credit (USD):
Bundle Price (USD):

Benefits of Iridium Short Burst Data Service

We're SBD experts, having designed and manufactured IoT and tracking devices leveraging this service for well over a decade. If your data volumes are low, and you can optimise your transmissions, this is the most cost-effective way to transmit your data.

Flexible Connectivity Solutions

Our SBD products are ideal for remote weather stations, ocean drifters and buoys, monitoring of oil pipelines, controlling and reporting on equipment in the middle of nowhere. For basic telemetry and command/control applications where mobile signals don’t go – they’re ideal.

Truly Global Coverage + Low Latency

Iridium has 66 satellites in orbit around the Earth, allowing coverage anywhere on Earth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No other satellite network has truly global coverage. Messages sent via Iridium take just seconds to reach you, via e-mail or directly to your web-service.

Customized Airtime Service Plans

Satellite airtime is more expensive than cellular - most of the time! - but we make it affordable. We have great prices, and we also tailor all of our airtime plans to our customers' requirements, so you only pay for the data you use, and avoid expensive overage fees.

Cloudloop Platform and Applications

All our devices are provided with access to our web-based monitoring and management system, Cloudloop. which simplifies your data, device and subscription management. If you have your own management system, and want to integrate data from our products, that's OK.

Comparing Satellite IoT Connectivity

It’s tricky to compare airtime services because so much depends on how much data you need to send, but as a rough guide, we’ve put together the following comparison points. Get in touch if you’d like any help deciding what will work best for you.

Iridium SBD
Iridium Certus 100
Inmarsat BGAN M2M
Connection Type:
Typical Connection Speed:
270 / 320B per Message
22 / 88 Kbps
448 / 464 Kbps
Satellite Orbit:
Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
Low Earth Orbit (LEO)
Very Low (<1 second)
Very Low (<1 second)
Low (<2 seconds)
Total Cost of Ownership:
Very Low
Power Usage:
Very Low
Connection Frequency:
On Demand
Frequently Connected
Frequently Connected
Great For:
Very small amounts of data from individual sensors
Fixed or mobile IoT applications which require IP connection
Fixed IoT applications with larger amounts of data to transfer via an IP connection

Is SBD right for your project?

We are SBD experts; we've been designing and manufacturing devices that work on this network since 2005, and we're very well placed to help you find the right product and airtime for your requirements.

Call or email us, or complete the form; whether you'd like a quote or just friendly and impartial advice, we're here to help.