With more than 80 percent of the earth lacking cellular coverage, enterprises looking to expand the geographic Internet of Things (IoT) footprint face a considerable stumbling block.
Still, the forecast is rapid and continuous growth for the number of devices connected to the internet to reach approximately 75 billion devices by 2025, according to IHSMarkit.
Businesses, governments, and other organizations eyeing to expand their IoT-based services globally may have something to look forward to in the upcoming first satellite cloud-based solution that promises a global coverage for IoT applications.
Almost in time for the eighth and final launch of its new satellites via SpaceX, satellite communications company Iridium Communications Inc. has announced that it has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) to collaborate with the tech giant to develop Iridium CloudConnect.
The solution, planned for launch in March 2019, is expected to “completely change the speed at which a satellite IoT solution can be deployed,” according to Iridium CEO Matt Desch in a news release.
Desch’s claim is that through its constellation of 66 crosslinked satellites, Iridium’s global coverage and is ideally suited for IoT applications.
By year’s end, the eighth satellite to be launched will cover every corner of the globe with voice and broadband-speed internet and data service.
Replacing its entire original satellite constellation with new satellites, known as Iridium NEXT, is an ambitious $3-billion initiative for the company.
To date, it has had seven launches on SpaceX, which delivered 65 new satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
With the final launch of 10 satellites planned for late 2018, Iridium said 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.
With AWS as a partner in the new satellite IoT solution, Iridium is confident it can serve a diverse customer base ranging from government entities and multinational organizations to the maritime and aviation industries.
"This is a major disruption for satellite IoT. Costs will drop, time to market will speed up, the risk will be reduced, and AWS IoT customers that choose Iridium CloudConnect can now enjoy true global connectivity for their solutions," Desch said in the same media release.
Under the plan for Iridium CloudConnect, AWS IoT will create a simplified process for companies to integrate Iridium's satellite reach with AWS.
Existing AWS customers will have a cost-effective way to expand their geographic IoT footprint to anywhere on the globe.
Meanwhile, each existing Iridium partner will be able to rapidly adopt AWS services due to the automated translation of the Iridium network's proprietary protocols to and from the appropriate devices and databases.
IoT subscribers growing
Listed on the NASDAQ, the company headquartered in McLean, Virginia said that it’s IoT subscribers is approximately 630,000 active devices and growing.
For the six months ended in June, it disclosed in a report that commercial IoT data revenue increased by $5.1 million, or 15 percent, from the prior year period primarily due to a 25 percent increase in commercial IoT data billable subscribers.
Meanwhile, commercial voice and data revenue increased by $6.7 million, or 8 percent from the prior year period, principally due to “certain price increases in access fees and growth in Iridium OpenPort subscribers.”
While revenue for the period is modest at $134.9 million, growing 21 percent year-over-year, the rise in billable subscribers was cited as a growth factor.
“We anticipate continued growth in billable commercial subscribers for the remainder of 2018,” Iridium noted.