Iridium now offers Certus internet anywhere on the globe courtesy of its 66 crosslinked satellites that create a web of coverage around the entire planet.
Before you say stick it to NBN (FTTN users we are speaking to you!) understand that this service is not broadband but 352/352Kbps down/upload or about .352Mbps. Speed increases are coming.
Iridium Certus (website here) significance is that it can provide voice (real-time) and data (albeit slowly) anywhere – on the ground, sea or in the air.
Iridium Certus can also support remotely deployed IoT devices or mobile platforms like UAVs for vital command and control links for the long haul delivery of critical supplies like vaccines and medicine.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said,
“Iridium Certus is the start of a new chapter in the Iridium story. At its core, Iridium Certus is an innovation engine for the future. It will enable us to provide internet connections to teams, vehicles and the important IoT ‘things’ that are in the 80%+ of the world that lacks cellular coverage. It is already disrupting the status-quo through our smaller, faster, lighter and more cost-effective terminals and service.”
Iridium Certis use cases
It provides a robust suite of solutions for maritime, land mobile, aviation, government and IoT applications.
- Shipping: supports the digitalisation of shipping and the autonomous vessel movement.
- Land-mobile users will be able to connect vehicles and assets ‘on-the-move’ anywhere on the planet and seamlessly switch cellular to satellite to help manage costs.
- Aviation users will gain access to a range of aircraft capabilities including business jet cabin connectivity for mobile office functions. Future flight deck applications will help advance efforts toward adopting satcom as a primary means of aircraft communications.
- Government users will have a secure solution supporting the mission-critical requirements of the warfighter, including truly mobile hardware that is resilient and rugged enough to withstand high-risk combat zones and inclement weather events.
- IoT applications will deliver Internet Protocol (IP) data applications over smaller, portable and more cost-effective devices to vertical markets like industrial IoT, forestry, utilities, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), transportation and construction
Now to the next stage
On January 11, 2019, the final ten satellites needed to complete the Iridium NEXT constellation were successfully placed in orbit by SpaceX. This $3 billion project means a successful deployment of all 75 satellites. These include 66 for the Iridium NEXT to function, with nine space-based spares.
GadgetGuy’s take; Congratulations Iridium – we have lift-off
Hat’s off to a truly innovative company that has had the sole purpose of providing comms and data to the world.
The first Iridium enabled call was made on 1 November 1998 by US Vice President Al Gore to Gilbert Grosvenor, the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell. It has not been easy – billions of dollars cost, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, government bail-outs and threats by creditors to ‘de-orbit’ the satellites.
The service is unique as evidenced by the US Department of Defence uses more than a quarter of its capacity.
Iridium is the world’s first true Skynet.