Iridium Receives OpenPort Orders in Spain; Enters LiveTV Development Deal
[Satellite TODAY 05-20-10] Iridium Communications has received more than 100 orders for its OpenPort broadband satellite terminals for installation on Spanish commercial fishing vessels, the MSS operator announced May 19.
Iridium said the new orders were driven by European Union (EU) e-logbook requirements that all fishing fleets operated by member states must transmit daily reports of catch, transshipments, landings and sales electronically to fishing authorities. Spain has more than 2,300 vessels subject to the requirements, which came into effect Jan. 1 for vessels more than 24 meters in length. The Spanish government is offering subsidies to vessel owners to offset some of the costs to purchase and install equipment to meet the e-logbook requirements.
The EU will extend the regulations to vessels more than 15 meters in length on July 1, 2011. Iridium plans to support growth of its OpenPort service, launched in 2008, with its Iridium Next constellation. Iridium expects to begin placing its next-generation satellite constellation in orbit in 2015.
Iridium also announced that it has entered into an agreement with LiveTV to develop an aviation antenna based on the OpenPort service. The LiveTV Iridium OpenPort-based system aims to enable cockpit-to-cabin connectivity services, providing up to 128 kilobits per second and three voice channels in an always-on IP configuration.
LiveTV has already developed a prototype of the model. The Iridium Next constellation will be backward compatible with the Iridium OpenPort platform. Financial details of both the orders and the LiveTV agreement were not disclosed.