Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that COMSAT, Inc., has signed an agreement to become an Iridium Certus service provider for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) users. This unique, long-term deal will allow COMSAT Inc. to provide Iridium’s secure global satellite broadband connectivity for mobile voice and data services to the Department of Defense (DoD) beginning in mid-2018.
COMSAT, Inc., a leader in delivering world-class, secure satellite solutions to government, military and maritime customers, will bring its full suite of value-added services to the Iridium Certus program. By leveraging the inherent advantages of the Iridium network, like truly global, on-the-move L-band connectivity, COMSAT will be able to deliver enhanced capabilities that meet Communications Security (ComSec) requirements for the DoD and warfighter. These capabilities include, but are not limited to, real-time usage statistics, telematics data, voice calling, personnel tracking applications, and real-time environmental assessments. The Iridium Certus service will offer dramatic improvements to current L-band services offered by other satellite companies. Iridium Certus terminals are smaller and capable of maintaining broadband connectivity in fast-paced, unpredictable environments on land, at sea, in the air – and can do it without landing or passing through non-U.S. territories. The service will debut at speeds of 352 Kbps, with terminals upgradable to 704 Kbps through a future firmware update.
“This is a new generation of technology that will keep users connected on-the-move, combining the robustness and reliability of the Iridium network with the value-added services and years of experience provided by COMSAT,” said David Greenhill, President of COMSAT. “U.S. government users will experience a new level of mission-critical mobile capabilities thanks to this partnership. We’re excited to bring this new service to them.”
Whether in high-risk combat zones or during inclement weather events, Iridium’s network provides uncompromised satellite communications that keeps users connected when it’s needed most. Through the service, U.S. government users will be able to securely connect remote assets to respective command and control centers back on U.S. soil in a cost-effective and secure manner, from anywhere on the planet including Arctic and Antarctic regions.
“Iridium and the DoD have maintained a longstanding and collaborative partnership through our Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) contract, and we believe Iridium Certus complements this perfectly by bringing never-before-possible, mission-critical broadband capabilities to the warfighter,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “We’re excited to partner with COMSAT, who brings innovation and a broad portfolio of capabilities to the table, and we look forward to working together for many years to come.”
Iridium Certus is planned for commercial availability in mid-2018. Iridium NEXT is the Company’s next-generation satellite constellation, which will replace its existing network. To date, there have been four successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying more than half of the new constellation. Four additional launches are planned for 2018.