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Iridium’s Game-Changing Leap: Satellite Connectivity meets 5G

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The telecommunications giant, Iridium, is launching a game-changing solution based on its existing Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite infrastructure. This innovative technology will connect satellites directly to multiple device types, such as smartphones, automobiles, and tablets, over 5G, extending communication reach beyond conventional terrestrial coverage.

Iridium’s satellite constellation currently fields around 1,300 emergency calls yearly, but the Project Stardust projection foresees a significant uptake. A substantial aspect of this technology is the capability to connect unaltered smartphones straight to the satellite connectivity.

Iridium advocates for the network’s unique advantages over other LEO and geostationary satellite networks, thanks to strategically designed crosslinked architecture and far-reaching L-band spectrum—these features assure high-level reliability.

Matt Desch, Iridium CEO, shared his anticipation regarding the project, “This is an exciting moment for Iridium and is a testament to the flexibility and capability built into our satellite constellation.” He championed the use of proprietary technology by adding, “The industry is moving quickly towards a more standards-based approach, and after surveying the field, we found that we’re the best positioned to lead the way using our own network, particularly given our true global coverage.”

The announcement comes in the aftermath of Iridium’s dissolved partnership with Qualcomm last month, when Qualcomm decided to move away from integrating Iridium’s technology into its new devices. Matt Desch noted his disappointment though recognized the industry’s trajectory toward satellite connectivity in consumer electronics.

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