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Iridium Pilot raises the bar for affordable broadband

by Des Ryan on 17 Feb 2012
Iridium Pilot, Height 230mm Diameter 570mm - not for a small boat .. .
Iridium Communications Inc. announces the launch of its second-generation maritime broadband platform, Iridium Pilot™. Iridium Pilot will utilize the Iridium OpenPort® service -- the world’s first when it comes to fully global maritime broadband.

Iridium Pilot is engineered for enhanced durability to withstand the harshest maritime conditions, all the while packaged in a small, lightweight antenna. It has a fixed, electronically-steerable, phased-array antenna, designed to maintain connectivity in rough seas. Iridium Pilot offers broadband connectivity in addition to three independent phone lines, all of which work simultaneously, with data speeds up to 134 kbps. The platform offers a suite of new capabilities for vessel telecommunications optimization.

These capabilities include a built-in firewall for traffic management and a bulk configuration capability to assist in efficiently managing large volumes of units. Its small form factor, enhanced capabilities and flexible service packages make Iridium Pilot an optimal solution for vessels large and small. In addition, Iridium Pilot maintains the best service program in the industry, the Iridium Global Service Program, and the industry’s only standard five-year limited warranty.

'We currently see a rapid migration from legacy narrowband services to new generation broadband solutions in the maritime satellite communications market,' said Richard Roithner, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult. 'MSS broadband solutions, in particular those positioned in the lower price ranges, have seen significant growth over the last two years increasing at around 120 percent per year.

Euroconsult projects growth to continue in the coming years as these systems provide an attractive value proposition for low- and medium-end markets, including fishing, shipping and leisure vessels, to provide safety communications, enhance ship operations, improve crew welfare as well as provide complementary services for VSAT. Our research has found that data rates of around 128kbps are sufficient for the majority of applications used onboard vessels today.'

Iridium Pilot is the latest example of Iridium’s long-term commitment to investment and innovation focused on satisfying communications needs around the globe. The company’s goal is to continually improve the customer experience in new and existing markets in the farthest reaches of the world now and into the future.

'Importantly, Iridium Pilot will be compatible with Iridium’s next generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT,' said Joel Thompson, vice president, product management, Iridium. 'Iridium NEXT, scheduled for deployment starting in 2015, is the largest commercial space program underway today. Ship operators installing Iridium Pilot can have the confidence that their equipment will be supported well beyond 2020.'

For cruising sailors, it will only be for the larger yachts - you are not going to fit this on a 35ft boat without serious weight and space penalties.

Antenna
Height: 9.06 in (230 mm)
Diameter: 22.44 in (570 mm)
Weight: 24.25 lb (11 kg)

Below Decks Unit
Height: 7.78 in (200 mm)
Width: 9.84 in (250 mm)
Diameter: 2.17 in (55 mm)
Weight: 2.98 lb (1.35 kg)

Data
Up to 134 kbps bidirectional with Iridium OpenPort broadband service

Telephony
3 independent phone lines

Coverage
Global, pole-to-pole

To find out how to buy the product where you are, http://iridium.com/Contact/HowToBuy.aspx?productID=562!click_here

About Iridium Communications Inc.:

Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network – Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
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