Iridium Reveals First Maritime Partners for Certus Service
Iridium Communications announced that Marlink, Speedcast, Applied Satellite Technologies (AST), and Satcom Global are the initial global maritime launch partners for Iridium Certus, a global L-band satellite network. The first regional maritime launch partner, Arion, will focus on delivering Iridium Certus to the Asian market .
According to Iridium, Certus is designed to meet the needs of the “connected ship.” Operating on small form-factor terminals with solid-state, active-array antennas, the service will enable more efficient business operations, cost-effective crew welfare solutions, and safety communications, while providing a pole-to-pole, global grid for Internet of Things (IOT) smart ship applications, the company stated. Already undergoing live testing, Iridium Certus terminals built by Cobham and Thales will debut at speeds of 352 Kbps, later upgradable to 704 Kbps through a firmware update. With eventual speeds reaching approximately 1.4 Mbps, Iridium Certus will also enable multiple streaming classes and safety services designed to provide reliable connectivity even in harsh environments.
Based on the $3 billion Iridium Next satellite constellation, Certus aims to provide high-definition voice capabilities, alongside enterprise-grade broadband functionality, covering all of the Earth’s oceans, according to Iridium. The company plans to make Certus commercially available in mid-2018.