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Iridium Certus becomes commercially available following launch success

Iridium has announced the commercial launch of its Iridium Certus L-band satcom service following the successful completion of the final launch in its $3 billion Iridium NEXT constellation refresh programme, which has seen 75 satellites launched in just under two years.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The launch of Certus commercial services on the NEXT network marks the conclusion of a global testing phase on its systems, including beta trials with live customers. Initial services are being targeted at maritime and terrestrial applications, with aviation products expected later in 2019.

“The debut of Iridium Certus is the start of a new chapter in the Iridium story, one that is set to catapult us and our partners forward,” said Iridium CEO Matt Desch.

At its core, Iridium Certus is an innovation engine for the future. It will enable us to provide broadband connections to teams, vehicles and the important IoT ‘things’ that are in the 80-plus per cent of the world that lacks cellular coverage.”

“Adoption of this new service by our partners has already begun, and it has been eagerly anticipated by every target industry. The launch of this service is a huge achievement, and it is already disrupting the status-quo through our smaller, faster, lighter and more cost-effective terminals and service.”

Iridium has estimated the L-band specialty broadband market to be worth approximately $700 million today. Prior to the launch of Iridium Certus, the company says that it had an approximately $25 million market share value in high-speed maritime services and aims to improve on that with this faster service.

Iridium has previously issued guidance that it believes revenues attributed to Iridium Certus will reach approximately $100 million annually by year end 2021.

“Iridium Certus is delivering real-time connections everywhere our vessels go. As a result, shipboard communications, vessel performance systems and the crew themselves are never out of contact,” said Holger Börchers, IT manager at Briese Schiffahrts.

“We are now able to upgrade existing broadband terminals to Iridium Certus to ensure we are getting the highest throughput at the best cost on the newest global network. Iridium Certus is a game-changer for us.”

Iridium Certus terminals for maritime are being built by Cobham and Thales. Services will initially be provided as a Certus 350 (352/352 kbps) offering, with the terminals upgradable to the Certus 700 (352/704 kbps) speed class with a firmware update, once available.

The Iridium satellite network is comprised of 66 crosslinked satellites offering coverage around the entire planet. The 75 NEXT satellites launched will replace all of the previous generation and leave a surplus of nine in-orbit spares.{/mprestriction}

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