Each partner has received operational beta units, which have been undergoing extensive testing designed to fine-tune both the new transceiver and the first new solutions they will enable in preparation for service activation. Small and highly mobile, like previous Iridium® devices, the Iridium Certus 9770 transfers IP data over 35 times faster than its predecessors while also supporting high quality voice connections.
This new midband device, with L-band speeds ranging from 22 Kbps to 88 Kbps, will expand the reach of satellite services to new markets, ranging from unmanned and autonomous drones to new personal communicators and remotely deployed IoT devices, all connected through Iridium’s unique L-band network.
The 10 companies currently testing a new generation of small-form factor satellite-enabled devices for maritime, aviation, land-mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and government applications include: Beam Communications Pty. Ltd., Blue Sky Network, Cobham, Lars Thrane, Marine Instruments S.A., McQ Inc., NAL Research Corporation, SkyTrac Systems Ltd., Telespazio and Wireless Innovation. Upon completion of testing, the Iridium Certus 9770 transceiver will be made available to additional Iridium licensed technology and distribution partners, expected in the first quarter of 2020.
“This new breed of device is the start of a shift in what defines small-form-factor satellite communications technology,” said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium. “These are highly mobile, lower-cost solutions that feature native IP technology at speeds capable of delivering a true internet, email, high-quality voice, photo and even some video capabilities. When you combine that with our truly global coverage, we’re creating a cost-effective and reliable ecosystem of new products in a new L-band speed class, midband, that is unlike anything that exists from the satellite community today.”
The Iridium Certus 9770 transceiver is the latest in a line of Iridium core technology components that allow the company’s partner network to develop cutting-edge products and applications that solve existing and emerging industry challenges. The small form factor of the new transceiver enables creation of highly mobile and versatile devices that feature Iridium’s unique truly global coverage, but at speeds far faster than existing Iridium devices of similar size. Markets requiring richer data transfers, pictures, low-resolution streaming, and enhanced telemetry will particularly benefit from this new technology.
UAVs and satellite IoT are two market examples that are expected to see significant growth over the next few years, further emphasizing the need for the remote capabilities these devices will enable. According to MarketsandMarkets™, the UAV market is expected to reach $52 billion in value by 2025 from $17 billion in 2017, while Northern Sky Research reports satellite-enabled IoT solutions total industry revenues are expected to grow to $2.5 billion by 2027, from approximately $1 billion in 2019.
Iridium Certus® is Iridium’s new technology platform launched in January 2019 with initial broadband services provided for the maritime and land-mobile-related industries. The service offers the flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes and power requirements both up and down based on the needs of the end-user. Made possible by the recently upgraded Iridium satellite constellation, the Iridium Certus service goes beyond serving solely as a connectivity solution. It provides a platform for the company’s partners to develop specialized broadband, midband and narrowband applications only possible through Iridium’s crosslinked L-band network.
Note for editor: Iridium defines “midband” as speeds ranging between 22 Kbps and 176 Kbps, to differentiate this unique speed range from our traditional 2.4 Kbps “narrowband” speed and Iridium Certus specialty broadband at 176 Kbps and higher. The Iridium Certus 9770 transceiver is designed for speeds ranging from 22 Kbps to 88 Kbps.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has recently completed its next-generation satellite network and launched its new specialty broadband service, Iridium Certus®. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the timing of introduction, capabilities and benefits of products and services enabled by the Iridium constellation, including Iridium Certus. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding the development and functionality of Iridium products and services, and the company’s ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on February 28, 2019, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium’s expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium’s forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.