[SatNews] Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) has announced that Thales has joined the roster of manufacturing partners that will design, manufacture and distribute products for the Iridium Certus broadband service.
Iridium Certus will leverage the enhanced capabilities of Iridium NEXT to deliver versatile, reliable, enterprise-grade communications, anywhere and everywhere in the world. Adding Thales as a manufacturing partner is another example of continued execution of Iridium's long-term, strategic plan to team with industry leaders for the production and distribution of best-in-class mobile broadband products, supporting aviation, maritime and terrestrial markets.
Thales joins previously announced manufacturing partners Cobham SATCOM, Rockwell Collins, L-3, and ICG (International Communications Group), all top companies in the commercial and defense technology industries. Thales is a global technology leader in aerospace, defense, security, space and transportation, and provides innovative solutions for critical systems and services meeting the most complex requirements for every operating environment on land, at sea, in the air and beyond in space.Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture of Thales Group and Finmeccanica Group, has developed and is building the Space Segment of the Iridium NEXT constellation as the prime contractor.
"Iridium Certus broadband is a huge leap forward for the industry. It will deliver unmatched mobile satellite services globally for commercial and government users," said Alan Pellegrini, president and CEO, Thales USA.
By the end of 2015, Iridium plans to announce Iridium Certus broadband service providers who will be approved to sell broadband services to the aeronautical, maritime and terrestrial markets. Iridium Certus broadband will support a portfolio of partner manufactured, multi-service products with a broad range of data speeds eventually as high as 1.4 megabits per second for a single user terminal after Iridium NEXT deployment is completed.
Iridium will provide Iridium Certus manufacturing partners with the core satellite communications technology, leveraging decades of experience and advanced digital processing and radio frequency (RF) design. Iridium will also assist development efforts with technical support and testing services. Like the current Iridium® constellation, the Iridium NEXT system will cover 100 percent of the globe—even polar regions—and its mesh architecture is less susceptible to inclement weather or interference that may impact performance of other systems. This reliable, global coverage is necessary for critical communications.