It is the only network able to provide a connection anywhere on the planet, through voice, text, and data – even in the polar regions.
Iridium Certus will greatly benefit almost all businesses and operations, so here’s everything you need to know about the latest, most advanced satellite device on the market.
What is Iridium Certus?
Iridium Certus is a multi-service platform enabled by Iridium NEXT, the $3 billion satellite constellation of 66 low orbit satellites. It is the only truly global mobile satellite service on the planet and offers the highest speed connectivity available.
Powered by Iridium NEXT, Iridium Certus does not rely on ground-based infrastructure, allowing connections to travel above the earth’s surface uninterrupted – regardless of weather or terrain. This is what enables Iridium Certus to provide greater reach and speed than any other wireless mobile network. Through a range of accessories, IoT products, satellite phones and more, Iridium Certus will keep you connected anywhere on the planet.
For the first time, one terminal can deliver a range of services, from multiple high-quality voice calls to the highest L-band connection available. The previous generation of Iridium satellites provided communication speeds of up to 128bps, while the upgraded Iridium Certus offers 700bps, with 1.4Mbps to be available soon.
While this may not sound very fast in a world where 5G continues to spread, this is astoundingly fast for a satellite, and will be plenty for the applications required.
But how will Iridium Certus be integrated into the worlds of business, government, and the individual?
A diverse range of applications will utilise Iridium Certus. Its support of broadband, narrowband voice, and data capabilities makes it indispensable to a scope of industries, including maritime, land mobile, aviation, the government, and IoT.
Iridium Certus offers the maritime industry a solution to the problems it has faced for years, as mariners have struggled to maintain connectivity at sea due to remote locations and bad weather.
Iridium Certus’ L-band frequency means that sailors will be connected anywhere on the seas, and weather will never influence the quality of the connection. The Iridium network therefore offers countless advantages to business operations, safety services, IoT applications, and crew welfare, as services range from navigational devices to simply using the web.
For example, the reliable Certus network is ideal for fishing ships handling catch information, monitoring weather, or communicating across fleets in the region. Workboats will never ‘go dark’ again, while Government ships such as research vessels have access to low latency communications. This is possible because communications travel above the earth, allowing for consistent bandwidth anywhere across the globe.
In terms of IoT, the Iridium network coupled with its L-Band architecture means that rigs, buoys, and both attended and autonomous platforms can be connected and tied into a corporate network that is robust and reliable.
Iridium Certus occupies the leading market position for stand-alone and VSAT companion use. Vessels that already use VSAT can augment their existing platform with global Iridium Certus coverage, creating an ideal hybrid solution that combines the benefits of low earth orbit with geostationary orbit, as well as the benefits of L-band and Ku-band.
On a more simple level, leisure sailors will find it easier than ever before to stay connected while on the seas, with guaranteed and uninterrupted voice calls, texts, or data suitable for browsing the web or sending emails.
The Certus network enables users to extend their mobile use into remote areas where usual mobile networks cannot reach, while avoiding expensive ground-based infrastructure.
This is useful in a plethora of ways; through providing remote transportation with information; enabling the military with dependable communications during training or special operations; allowing scientists in isolated areas (such as the poles) to exchange information; and enabling immediate broadcasting in remote locations.
Perhaps most importantly, Iridium Certus offers a global solution to aide disaster response. Local infrastructure is often damaged when disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes strike. Iridium Certus provides reliable coordination and information access beyond terrestrial communications, which is vital to first responders who must be able to act quickly.
Iridium also offers hybrid solutions to enhance 5G, 4G, or 3G connectivity. Terrestrial networks cover less than 20% of the earth, and Iridium Certus will ensure that communications are never disrupted as individuals who travel or work in remote locations move in and out of cellular coverage.
Building upon Iridium’s established voice and data satellite services, Iridium Certus adds a high performance broadband service that connects the entire aircraft, keeping crew and passengers alike connected through email, internet, voice, and data.
Iridium Certus has also introduced Aireon, the first ever global flight-surveillance system. Iridium NEXT is the only satellite constellation with the capability and reach to enable global air traffic surveillance, all thanks to its orbital configuration.
The low earth orbit altitude allows aircraft signals to be received without any changes to the aircraft or additional equipment. This will enable real-time delivery of information to Air Traffic Control. If such a system had existed in 2014, the Malaysian Airlines flight 370 would not have disappeared.
On a commercial level, airlines will be capable of offering its passengers high speed broadband to aircrafts of any size. With easily applicable, low-weight antennas, air-travel will be safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable than ever.
The Iridium constellation is invaluable to US government operations, demonstrated by the support shown by the Pentagon in 2000. The costs of the Iridium NEXT constellation almost caused the company to go bankrupt, but the Pentagon prevented this with a $72 million two-year contract to serve its 20,000 US government users. With the updated Iridium NEXT constellation, the network will continue to aid the government in unprecedented ways.
Iridium Certus can help mobilise and monitor personnel, data, and assets on the ground, even when they are beyond the reach of terrestrial networks. It offers reliable, robust, real-time voice and data command and control communications required for military, scientific, and research operations.
Iridium Certus provides a secure solution that supports the mission-critical requirements of the military, including hardware that is capable of withstanding high-risk combat zones and turbulent weather.
Internet of Things:
Iridium has partnered with Amazon Web Services to develop Iridium CloudConnect, which aims to be the first and only satellite cloud-based solution offering truly global coverage for Internet of Things applications later in 2019.
Iridium CloudConnect will lower costs, provide faster speeds to market, reduce risk, and allow customers to enjoy complete global connectivity for their solutions.
Matt Desch, Iridium CEO, expects CloudConnect to cater at first to large products, such as cargo ships or agricultural equipment, but will move to smaller and smaller vehicles, such as drones.
Any IoT device connected through the Iridium network will speak natively with Amazon’s cloud-based server and user interfaces, allowing end-to-end data transmission that is wider-reaching, cheaper, and faster than ever before.
Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium offers truly global communication for the first time ever.
It is hard to imagine an area of business, government work, or personal life in which Iridium Certus could not be utilised. Iridium’s vision of connecting the entire planet is slowly coming to fruition, and the benefits to be had are endless.