The company plans to upload NB-IoT NTN standards into its operational LEO constellation
MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM), a leading provider of global voice and data satellite communications, today announced Project Stardust, the evolution of its direct-to-device (D2D) strategy with 3GPP 5G standards-based Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) Non-Terrestrial Network (NB-NTN) service development. As a new standards-based solution, it will be deployed on Iridium’s existing satellite network giving the company a unique ability to offer both high-quality proprietary and standardized D2D and IoT services to its customers.
The early stages of programming Iridium’s low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites offers a special opportunity to smartphone companies, OEMs, chipmakers, mobile network operators (MNO) and related IoT developers to have their requirements woven into the fabric of the Iridium® network. Iridium is already collaborating directly with several of these companies.
“This is an exciting moment for Iridium and is a testament to the flexibility and capability built into our satellite constellation,” said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. “The industry is moving quickly towards a more standards-based approach, and after surveying the field, we found that we’re the best positioned to lead the way using our own network, particularly given our true global coverage.”
Iridium is designing its initial NB-IoT offering to support 5G NTN messaging and SOS capabilities for smartphones, tablets, cars, and related consumer applications. Adopting the service will enable device manufacturers to add a satellite connection to standardized devices, take advantage of existing, globally allocated and coordinated Iridium spectrum, and provide a superior low-latency LEO user experience. The Iridium network supports approximately 1,300 SOS and emergency (911 or equivalent) incidents per year, around the world and has readily available systems, processes, and partners to implement this capability for new devices.
Iridium understands the market need for its customers to develop and certify products quickly. Applying our established onboarding processes, chipmakers and NB-IoT developers can join Iridium’s ecosystem of about 500 partners, and choose a proprietary, standards-based, or dual-solution integration approach for added network redundancy. MNOs will have the opportunity to be a one-stop shop for ubiquitous coverage and off-grid use cases, with unmatched industry reliability. Iridium partners are supported by a 24/7 customer support, back office, billing, and provisioning system, all ready to support the new service upon launch.
The Iridium satellite constellation’s fully crosslinked, LEO architecture and global L-band spectrum provides a competitive service advantage versus other LEO and geostationary satellite networks. Certified to provide safety of life services by international regulatory bodies, the Iridium network has become the gold standard of reliability and continues to be the only network that provides connectivity everywhere on Earth. Operating in LEO, the Iridium constellation does not suffer from the same line-of-sight limitations, significant power requirements or outages that can affect entire regions from a single satellite as faced by geostationary systems.
The recognized leader in satellite IoT and personal communications, Iridium has more than two decades of experience and an unmatched partner ecosystem supporting more than 2.2 million users around the world. As of the third quarter of 2023, Iridium subscribers have grown at a 15% CAGR over the last five years, and the company serves approximately 1.7 million IoT customers today, including about 900,000 personal trackers and satellite messengers for consumer, enterprise, and government applications. Known for its reliability, coverage, and low power requirements, the Iridium network is an ideal fit for NB-IoT NTN service.
The company is currently working with several D2D and IoT-focused companies to understand and incorporate their use cases, requirements, and end-user needs into its planned service. The company anticipates testing to begin in 2025, with service in 2026. To learn more about Iridium NB-IoT NTN plans or to participate in the development process, visit https://www.iridium.com/project-stardust/
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. In 2019, the company completed a generational upgrade of its satellite network and launched its specialty broadband service, Iridium Certus®. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the development and capabilities of, and market for, NB-IoT services on the Iridium network. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding customer demand for Iridium’s products and services; Iridium’s ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, and the development of and market for Iridium’s products and services, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on February 16, 2023, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium’s expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium’s forward-looking statements are based on information available to it as of the date of this press release and speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7421
+1 (703) 287-7570
SOURCE Iridium Communications Inc.