Iridium Communications Inc has just announced its vision for the future of mobile satellite communications, Iridium Force™. This vision uses the power of the world’s furthest reaching network to accelerate the development of enhanced personal communication capabilities for people and organizations everywhere. Iridium Force breaks the mold of traditional satellite industry go-to-market strategies by making Iridium technology more accessible and cost-effective for partners to develop a wider range of Iridium-based products and services. This new vision opens the licensing of core Iridium technologies as well as the company’s most fundamental offering – global connectivity.
Five key tenets guide the Iridium Force strategy:
1. Extend beyond satellite phones: Iridium is enabling communications where people need them most, and in more ways than they expect, and connecting to Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as smartphones (BlackBerry®, Android® or Apple iPhone®), tablets and laptops, as well as favorite applications, far beyond the reach of terrestrial networks;
2. Simplify connections: Iridium is investing in making its technology more accessible and cost-effective for partners to embed across an ever-widening range of services;
3. Drive innovation: Iridium is opening and licensing its core technologies and its network so it can collaborate with a broader set of innovators to create new solutions for expanding new markets;
4. Enable location-awareness: Iridium is integrating GPS location-based services for on-the-go location-specific applications and personal security capabilities; and
5. Perform without compromise: Iridium continues its promise to provide tough, dependable, truly mobile devices and services that work reliably everywhere on the surface of the planet.
Iridium pioneered the satellite phone industry more than 10 years ago with the first handheld, commercial satellite phone,‖ said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. ―With Iridium Force, we are leading an industry transformation once again by significantly extending the universe of handheld connectivity options. Iridium Force is our strategic vision for rapidly connecting more people in ways never thought possible – even going beyond the limits of our own devices. Iridium Force is more than the launch of a new satellite phone; it signifies our commitment to enable powerful new capabilities including those devices that are already in customers’ hands to work on the Iridium network – today and in the future.‖
New product and service offerings being announced today encompassing Iridium Force include:
Voice and Data Products
Iridium Extreme™ – Iridium Force has inspired the introduction of the most advanced, rugged satellite handset on the market. Iridium Extreme is the smallest and lightest Iridium handset model, with the ability to precisely locate users anywhere on the surface of the planet. It meets stringent U.S. Department of Defense Military Standard 810F for durability and is rich in capabilities, featuring the first dedicated, two-way emergency SOS button on a satellite phone. The phone leads the market in its offering of online tracking portals, with fully integrated GPS and location-based service (LBS) capabilities for web-based location identification and tracking of friends, loved ones or employees. Iridium Extreme delivers reliability, safety and peace of mind everywhere.
Iridium Core 9523 – This voice and data module is the ―brains‖ of the Iridium Extreme satellite phone. The Iridium Core 9523 is a sophisticated and flexible device packaged into a small and cost-effective platform for partners to develop new Iridium-based handheld solutions. Iridium is licensing this core technology to innovators who require the building blocks to develop their own Iridium-based global voice and data communication devices and solutions. A number of our partners are already developing products and services surrounding the Iridium Core 9523.
Location-Based Services (LBS) Data Offerings
Iridium Tracking Portals – Customers can now access location monitoring, messaging and safety tools enabled by the Iridium Extreme satellite phone. More than 17 of our partners are creating customized online tracking portals developed using Iridium’s open software platform. Portal features include tracking an Iridium Extreme user’s real-time status and location, zooming to street level via online maps, scheduling regular check-ins, providing emergency services, ―geo-fencing,‖ and sending free-form, canned and social networking messages.
Wi-Fi Products and Services
Iridium is also introducing new products and services that will allow Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, tablets and laptops to connect anywhere on the Iridium global network.
Iridium AxcessPoint – Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, tablets and laptops will be able to connect anywhere through the Iridium network. Iridium AxcessPoint is a portable and lightweight Wi-Fi hotspot accessory that easily connects BlackBerry and Android devices to the Iridium network using an Iridium Extreme or Iridium 9555 satellite phone. iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, and Windows and Mac laptops, will need to download the new, free
Iridium AxcessPoint Mail & Web application. Iridium AxcessPoint is expected to be available in fourth quarter of 2011 with a suggested retail price of less than $200 (USD).