Two competitors in the broadband space that don’t depend on towers and fiber for signal transmission are combining their expertise to provide global high-speed internet connectivity. Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) and OneWeb signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on a combined satellite-delivered broadband service.
While both are low-Earth-orbit (LEO) constellations, Iridium® and OneWeb services have different capabilities on their respective bands (L-band and Ku-band). The OneWeb network will deliver high-speed broadband connectivity that transfers large amounts of data. The company says it’s ideal for applications including inflight WiFi, government, and maritime networks that require global reach, high speed and low latency. Iridium’s crosslinked satellite constellation brings global connectivity with weather resilient L-band user terminals, making it suited to provide safety services for ships, aircraft, vehicles and deployed personnel.
With the first six satellites already launched, OneWeb’s system has demonstrated broadband speeds of 400 Mbps and an average latency of 32 milliseconds. OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites per month starting in December enabling it to provide partial service in late 2020 and global coverage in 2021. Iridium Certus® is Iridium’s new technology platform launched in January 2019, and offers the flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes and power requirements both up and down based on the needs of the end-user.
September 20, 2019