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Latest Digital Ship - March 2015


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Friday, 27 February 2015 09:54

Iridium has named the four manufacturers that it will partner with on Certus, the L-band satellite broadband service that will be delivered by its Iridium NEXT constellation, scheduled to begin launching in 2015.

Cobham SATCOM, Rockwell Collins, L-3, and ICG have all been authorised to create Iridium Certus broadband terminals. The manufacturers were selected from a pool of over 30 candidates, according to Iridium.

Initial products from these partners are expected to be commercially available as soon as late 2016, following the availability of prototype transceivers from Iridium in the second quarter of 2015. Iridium says it will also assist development efforts with technical support and testing services, as well as terminal reference designs.

"We are proud to be teaming up with these companies, which represent the best-in-class in their respective industries," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium.

"Iridium remains committed to our wholesale distribution strategy, and with Iridium Certus broadband we will be working in close collaboration with—not in competition to— these manufacturing companies.”

“Together, we will be able to deliver the first broadband products and services that truly meet the business-critical communications needs of individuals and organisations in the air, on land and at sea who need to reliably share data no matter where they are on the globe."

Iridium NEXT will fully replace Iridium’s current satellite constellation of 66 cross-linked low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that cover 100 per cent of the globe. When deployment is completed, Iridium says it will support data speeds as high as 1.4 megabits per second for a single user terminal.

Production of the satellites began in early 2014, at the Orbital Sciences Corporation satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona. In total, 81 satellites will be manufactured, including 66 LEO operational satellites, six in-orbit spares, and nine ground-backup spacecraft.

Cobham SATCOM, which is a current generation maritime Iridium terminal and hardware manufacturer, said it was happy to be partnering with Iridium once again.

“We are delighted to become an official Iridium Certus manufacturing partner and look forward to being part of the massive opportunities that these new services will introduce for satcom users and service providers,” said Paul Jona, SVP Cobham SATCOM.

“The inherent advantages of the Iridium NEXT constellation and our expertise in L-band product development allow us to offer innovative communications solutions, providing our diverse customer base in the aeronautical and maritime markets access to the full suite of compelling Iridium Certus services.” 

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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