To kick off 2018, we wanted to provide a deep dive into one of this year’s key Iridium initiatives – Iridium Certus. Enabled by Iridium NEXT, Iridium Certus is our next-generation, specialty broadband service (satellite broadband), offering critical safety, L-band communications connectivity to the entire planet. In addition to providing the fastest L-band speeds available, Iridium Certus will shake up the market status quo. By enabling small form factor antennas at competitive price points, for markets such as maritime, a true choice will be offered.
“Iridium Certus is going to fundamentally change the status quo in satellite connectivity for aviation, maritime, land-mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and government users,” says Iridium CEO Matt Desch. “Achieving this major milestone continues our momentum for our mission to introduce world-changing broadband services and applications designed to help our partners provide critical connectivity solutions, both standalone and in support of other broadband technologies.”
1. What’s in a name? The Latin word ‘certus’ translate to ‘certain, reliable, and sure’, which are key attributes of the new service.
2. How does it work? Iridium Certus is powered by Iridium NEXT, our next-generation, $3 billion satellite constellation. It has been coined the largest ‘tech refresh’ in history, as we replace 66 low Earth orbit satellites with new ones, all in just about 18 months.
3. What makes Iridium Certus stand out? Iridium Certus will deliver new options to the satellite broadband market. For example, in the maritime market, Iridium Certus will provide a real choice for end-users, ending an industry monopoly that has existed for some time. The service will deliver competitively priced, high-performing, pole-to-pole global satellite coverage supporting many important functions including, business operations, IoT applications, crew welfare and critical safety services.
4. How is Iridium Certus different from the competition? Iridium Certus will be highly reliable, due to the advantages of the network’s unique architecture. Located in low Earth orbit (LEO), with crosslinks enabling cross-satellite communication and L-band end-user transmissions, the network is unaffected by weather conditions or the need for ground stations, unlike other satellite networks, like those located in Geostationary Orbit (GEO).
5. How is Iridium Certus more than satellite broadband? The service is designed to be a multi-solution platform for all industry verticals. It will provide high definition voice capabilities, alongside IP data speeds debuting at 352 Kbps and soon after upgraded to 704 Kbps. With eventual speeds reaching approximately 1.4 Mbps, Iridium Certus will also deliver multiple streaming classes and safety services.
6. Who can use Iridium Certus? Compared to existing L-band services and equipment, Iridium Certus offers superior value. Whether you are a large vessel with heavy data needs, or a smaller operation, our model makes it possible for any industry to have access to reliable, high-quality satellite connectivity, anywhere on the planet.
7. Which terminals support the new service? We have partnered with Cobham, the Thales Group, Rockwell Collins, L3 Communications, all world-class, Value Added Manufacturers (VAMs), to develop cutting-edge terminals to support Iridium Certus. For example, SAILOR 4300 by Cobham and VesseLINK by Thales, will be easy to install, small form factor antennas for the maritime industry. Their design and competitive price points will bring much needed value, choice and increased quality of service to the maritime market. Existing Iridium devices will continue to function normally, but will not benefit from the new Iridium Certus speeds without one of the Iridium Certus terminals.
8. How can someone sign up for the service? Iridium has a vast partner ecosystem, and does not sell direct-to consumer. Our partners are ready to drive our second-generation of innovation through their global presence and expertise. Our selected group of experienced Service Distribution Partners will be announced in the coming months.
9. When will Iridium Certus be available? Commercial service introduction is planned for the second quarter of this year (2018).
10. Where can I learn more? For more information about Iridium Certus, please visit https://www.iridium.com/network/iridiumcertus/.
Iridium’s New, Truly Global Broadband Service – Iridium Certus(SM) – Goes Live for On-Orbit Satellite Testing. (2017, October 05). Retrieved February 09, 2018, from http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1042921
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