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Iridium completes first Certus call

Certus will run on the NEXT constellation Certus will run on the NEXT constellation

Iridium reports that it has successfully conducted the first ever voice and data ground test call over its next-generation Iridium Certus broadband network, currently under development to be introduced on the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The voice and data call utilised three newly developed core components of the Iridium Certus communications system for the first time: the broadband satellite terminal, Iridium NEXT satellites, and upgraded capabilities in Iridium's terrestrial gateway. 

The call originated from a prototype satellite terminal previously announced as the Iridium Certus Broadband Core Module (BCX), then processed through an Iridium NEXT satellite undergoing testing for first launch that was updated with Iridium Certus software, and then terminated through the Iridium Certus gateway subsystem connecting to the public network.

Iridium says that the Certus service will introduce an initial data speed of 352 kbps and a new voice codec which will operate at twice the current bit rate of Iridium's current generation offerings. The plan is to scale the service to eventually enable data speeds up to 1.4 Mbps for a single user terminal after Iridium NEXT deployment is completed.

“This is a major milestone in proving the quality and potential of Iridium Certus. With our new BCX module and the enhanced capabilities offered through our Iridium NEXT satellites, our manufacturing partners will be able to offer industry-leading satellite broadband capabilities through our global distribution channels to the aeronautical, maritime and land mobile markets,” said Brian Pemberton, vice president and general manager, maritime and aviation businesses at Iridium.{/mprestriction}

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