‘Iridium Next’ Targets Broadband Users
Iridium disclosed plans for a future constellation to replace the 66 low-earth-orbit satellites that make up its current satcom network. Speaking at the Satellite 2007 conference in Washington, D.C., company officials said the “Iridium Next” constellation will maintain the current service’s “cross-linked” architecture but will use Internet Protocol technology to deliver broadband data and voice communications services to users.
An all-new, $2 billion satellite network will replace the one that now provides Iridium satcom and low-speed data services to more than 175,000 subscribers worldwide.
Officials said the Iridium Next constellation will be compatible with current Iridium satcom hardware, meaning upgrades won’t be necessary for subscribers who want to continue only their voice and low-rate data services.