Satnews Daily
February 19th, 2018

Iridium Entrusts COMSAT to Provide Iridium's Certus Satellite Broadband Connectivity to the DoD

When delivering broadband connectivity for mobile voice and data services to the Department of Defense security is of the utmost importance. Iridium's decision to enlist COMSAT Inc. as the service provider for Iridium Certus' SM  smaller terminals results in offering dramatic improvements to other satellite companies current L-band services, and ensures safety critical in unpredictable environments on land, at sea, in the air,  and does it without landing or passing through non-U.S. territories.

COMSAT, Inc., has signed an agreement with Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) to become the Iridium Certus' service provider for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) users creating a long-term agreement that 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.'s secure delivery combines with the advantages of the Iridium® network's 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. Positive elements of Iridium Certus terminals is that they 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. 

David Greenhill, president of COMSAT commented that 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. U.S. government users will experience a new level of mission-critical mobile capabilities thanks to this partnership. They’re excited to bring this new service to them. 

Iridium’s network provides satellite communications that keeps users connected when it’s needed most, whether in high-risk combat zones or during inclement weather events. Through the service, U.S. government users will be able to securely connect remote assets to respective command and control centers on U.S. soil in a cost-effective and secure manner, from anywhere on the planet including Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium added that Iridium and the DoD have maintained a longstanding and collaborative partnership through their Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) contract, and they believe Iridium Certus complements this perfectly by bringing never-before-possible, mission-critical broadband capabilities to the warfighter. They are excited to partner with COMSAT, who brings innovation and a broad portfolio of capabilities to the table, and they 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.