Iridium partners with Amazon to develop satellite IoT business

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-28 07:46:38|Editor: Li Xia
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. mobile satellite operator Iridium Communications Inc. said Thursday that it is cooperating with leading cloud service provider Amazon to connect its satellite network with Amazon Web Services (AWS) internet-of-things (IoT) services.

Iridium said it has joined the AWS Partner Network to develop its Iridium CloudConnect, the first and only satellite cloud-based solution with global coverage for the IoT applications, which is expected to be launched in 2019.

Iridium's CloudConnect service will allow corporate users of AWS IoT services to reach more than 80 percent of places on Earth that lacks cellular coverage, said the mobile satellite operator.

"Iridium customers will be able to take advantage of AWS IoT, while existing AWS customers will have a cost-effective way to expand their geographic IoT footprint to anywhere on the globe," it said.

AWS IoT is the first of its kind for the satellite industry that will create a simplified process for companies to integrate Iridium's satellite reach with AWS and help them cut engineering efforts, lower fixed operating costs, and reduce time to develop new products and services, Iridium said.

"Iridium CloudConnect will completely change the speed at which a satellite IoT solution can be deployed and will allow existing AWS customers to keep everything the same on the back end, while opening up the opportunity to quickly expand their coverage," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch.

"This is a major disruption for satellite IoT. Costs will drop, time to market will speed up, risk will be reduced," Desch added.

Iridium said it is the only communications company in the world that has a constellation of 66 crosslinked satellites, which makes global coverage possible. It is pursuing an ambitious 3-billion-U.S.-dollar initiative to replace its entire original satellite constellation with new satellites, known as Iridium NEXT.

It has sent 65 new satellites to Low Earth Orbit in seven launches carried out by California-based private space transportation services company SpaceX owned by billionaire Elon Musk. The final launch of 10 satellites has been scheduled for later in 2018.

Iridium said that it was providing IoT services to approximately 630,000 active devices by the end of June 2018, and its IoT subscribers have grown at a rate of about 19 percent over the last three years.