Iridium Communications announced Sept 27, 2018, it joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) and has been collaborating with AWS on the development of Iridium CloudConnect, the first and only satellite cloud-based solution that offers truly global coverage for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Enabled by the Iridium® network, and planned for launch in 2019, this new Iridium service will make Iridium IoT services available with AWS IoT, extending the reach of AWS’s powerful suite of services to the more than 80 percent of the Earth that lacks cellular coverage. 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.
SpaceX is launching the $3 billion satellite network for Iridium, with the eighth and final launch happening later this year.
According to IHSMarkit Inc., the global IoT is expected to continue rapid growth to approximately 75 billion devices by 2025. To keep pace with this predicted rapid expansion, businesses, governments and other organizations will now be able to globally expand their IoT-based services cost-effectively and reliably through Iridium CloudConnect.
A first for the satellite industry, AWS IoT will create a simplified process for companies to integrate Iridium’s satellite reach with AWS, increasing speed to market. Through this arrangement, customers will be able to reduce engineering efforts, lower fixed operating costs, and reduce time to develop new products and services, through the power and capabilities of AWS IoT.
Iridium’s IoT services continue to be a catalyst for strong subscriber growth. With approximately 630,000 active devices as of June 30, 2018, Iridium’s IoT subscribers have grown at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 19 percent over the last three years. As a result of this arrangement, each existing Iridium partner will be able to rapidly adopt AWS services due to the automated translation of the Iridium network’s proprietary protocols and industry standard IoT protocols supported by AWS IoT, to and from the appropriate devices and databases.
“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,” says 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, and AWS IoT customers that choose Iridium CloudConnect can now enjoy true global connectivity for their solutions.”
Through its constellation of 66 crosslinked satellites, Iridium is the only communications company that has truly global coverage and is ideally suited for IoT applications. The company is currently in the homestretch of its ambitious $3 billion initiative to replace its entire original satellite constellation with new satellites, known as Iridium NEXT. To date, seven launches have taken place with launch provider SpaceX, delivering 65 new satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), with the final launch of 10 satellites planned for later in 2018. Upon completion, a total of 75 Iridium NEXT satellites will have been delivered to space, with 66 in the active constellation and nine serving as on-orbit spares.