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First resellers for Iridium Certus announced

Iridium has confirmed the names of the initial maritime launch partners for its next generation Certus L-band satellite service, with Marlink, Speedcast, Applied Satellite Technologies Ltd (AST) and Satcom Global the first four companies appointed as global resellers, while Arion will act as a regional partner focusing on the Asian market.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The Certus service runs on Iridium's NEXT satellite constellation, which is currently past the midway point in its scheduled launch programme. Four launches of 10 satellites each have been successfully concluded, with eight launches planned in total to complete the constellation of 66 operational satellites and in-orbit spares. Iridium expects the launch schedule to be completed by the middle of 2018.

“Iridium Certus is creating a marketplace that brings choice and innovation, which is something the industry has been craving,” said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime at Iridium.

“For many years we have been listening to the market, and we know that mariners are often forced to sacrifice quality for bandwidth, or vice versa, due to high prices. But soon we will be delivering a standardised solution that helps solve this persistent issue. Iridium Certus is a game changer and is directly responding to the feedback we hear from our industry partners and customers.”

Certus is already undergoing live testing on the satellites already in orbit, using terminals built by Cobham and Thales. The new service will offer L-band speeds of 352 kbps at launch, later upgradable to 704 kbps through a firmware update and with eventual speeds of approximately 1.4 Mbps planned.

“Iridium’s signature full global coverage, coupled with the enhanced capacity and speed of Iridium Certus, has created a real buzz in the marketplace,” said Graeme Gordon, global commercial director, Satcom Global.

“We’re excited to bring this new service to our diverse maritime customer base.”{/mprestriction}

Iridium Certus is planned for commercial availability in mid-2018, with additional maritime service providers expected to be added to this initial list of five prior to its full introduction.

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