Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Iridium reveals beta partners for IoT transceiver

Steve Rogerson
August 28, 2019



Iridium Communications ha announced the first ten approved beta partners developing products based on the its Certus 9770 transceiver for faster satellite IoT, data and voice applications.
 
Each partner has received operational beta units, which have been undergoing testing designed to fine-tune both the transceiver and the first new services they will enable in preparation for service activation.
 
The Certus 9770 transfers IP data over 35 times faster than its predecessors while supporting high-quality voice connections. This midband device, with L-band speeds ranging from 22 to 88kbit/s, could expand the reach of satellite services to markets ranging from unmanned and autonomous drones to personal communicators and remotely deployed IoT devices, all connected through Iridium's L-band network. 
 
Virginia-based Iridium defines midband as speeds between 22 and 176kbit/s, to differentiate this range from its traditional 2.4kbit/s narrowband speed and Certus specialty broadband at 176kbit/s and higher.
 
The ten companies testing the small-form factor satellite-enabled devices for maritime, aviation, land-mobile, IoT and government applications are: Beam Communications, Blue Sky Network, Cobham, Lars Thrane, Marine Instruments, McQ, NAL Research, SkyTrac Systems, Telespazio and Wireless Innovation.
 
Upon completion of testing, the 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 Certus 9770 transceiver is the latest in a line of Iridium core technology components that allow the company's partner network to develop products and applications that solve existing and emerging industry problems. The small form factor of the transceiver enables the creation of highly mobile and versatile devices that feature 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 could particularly benefit from this technology.
 
UAVs and satellite IoT are two market examples that are expected to see significant growth over the next few years, emphasising the need for the remote capabilities these devices will enable.
 
Certus is Iridium's 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 user. Made possible by the recently upgraded Iridium satellite constellation, the Certus service goes beyond serving solely for connectivity. It provides a platform for the company's partners to develop specialised broadband, midband and narrowband applications through Iridium's cross-linked L-band network.