Stable broadband in unstable regions

With 66 satellites 500 miles up, travelling at 17,000mph, the Iridium NEXT mobile and voice data network is the only one which covers the entire globe all at once.

Having the satellites in place is only half the battle, though, and for crews aboard maritime vessels, on expedition in remote areas, or those locked in hostile war zones, a reliable, essential broadband connection is often impossible to come by.

Conventional broadband services are simply not available, and even if they were, the robustness required by the people stationed in the most inhospitable places far exceeds regular connections.

As well as its own fleet of satellite in low-Earth orbit (LOE), Iridium also makes a range of transceivers - a device which both transmits and receives - to help the aforementioned crews and explorers, to connect to their network. For over 10 years, Cambridge Consultants have partnered with Iridium to design and develop those transceivers, moving the world towards the next generation of global broadband.

What does it all mean?

With an Iridium and Cambridge Consultants-made device on-board, ships in the middle of the Pacific Ocean will be able to connect to one of the dozens of satellites overhead at any time, and enjoy a stable, reliable broadband connection. That’s important, because alongside radio communications, crews need information on routes, they need to stay in touch with customers and stakeholders, and they need a solid connection to their families back on land.

The same goes for teams in remote areas like the desert or the poles.

Radio is a lifeline for them, but for detailed analysis, and for sharing their findings with the world in real-time, a powerful broadband connection is the only answer.

What have Cambridge Consultants actually made?

In the decade that Cambridge Consultants has partnered with Iridium, they’ve developed some incredible technology, including the design of Iridium’s most powerful radio handset, but one of the most exciting new developments relates to that broadband network.

The Iridium 9602 Transceiver is a satellite modem, which allows ground-based crews in remote areas, to connect to the satellites circling the Earth 500 miles up. It’s no bigger than a matchbox, making it the world’s smallest commercial satellite transceiver. For convenience, and for the fact that remote location crews often have a limit on how much kit they can carry, it’s important that the transceiver be so small.

For people stationed long-term at sea, in war zones, in the desert and up mountains, Cambridge Consultants and Iridium are providing a connection to the world which for many, is more than a necessity; it’s a line back to their loved ones.

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