[SatNews] Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces the latest milestone in the development of their next-generation Iridium Certus broadband service with the delivery of the first Broadband Core Transceiver (BCX) prototypes for interoperability testing on the Iridium NEXT satellite network infrastructure.
Designed by product development firm Cambridge Consultants, the prototypes will be used by Iridium's industry-leading manufacturing partners to design, build and distribute products compatible with the new broadband capabilities enabled by the Iridium NEXT network, scheduled to begin launching in late 2015 with commercial service expected in late 2016.
The BCX module will provide a significant advancement from Iridium's current-generation broadband products and offers a streamlined form factor, at approximately 75 percent of the first-generation Iridium broadband equipment size, while initially supporting triple the data speeds of the current service. The BCX will be made available to the Iridium Certus broadband manufacturing partners that Iridium announced earlier this year. Iridium is working closely with terminal manufacturers to introduce innovative solutions for affordable mobile broadband, with an addressable market of more than 750,000 potential subscribers across the aeronautical, maritime and land mobile markets.
Iridium Certus will be an enterprise-grade mobile satellite broadband service, with the reliability and versatility to operate as a standalone solution or complementary to VSAT platforms. While the BCX will initially support data speeds over the Iridium NEXT network that are comparable to current industry mobile broadband products, the scalable architecture of the transceiver will enable a broad range of products with data speeds as high as 1.4 megabits per second for a single user terminal after the Iridium NEXT satellites are fully online.
Iridium will make the BCX prototypes available to manufacturers as part of the Iridium Certus Integrator Development Kits and will assist product development efforts with technical support and testing services. BCX production deliveries are planned for the first half of 2016, and commercial availability of the Iridium Certus broadband service is anticipated to begin in late 2016.
"This is another exciting step forward for us that reinforces our strategy to drive innovation by designing core technology and putting it into the hands of industry-leading partners to build and distribute end solutions," said Brian Pemberton, vice president and general manager, Iridium aviation and maritime business. "As initial development continues, we'll be working diligently to support our partners in a collaborative environment and create a number of truly cutting-edge mobile satellite broadband solutions that meet the needs of our many diverse markets."