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23rd July 2019

It’s been a whole six months since the world’s first truly global broadband service Iridium Certus® commercially launched, disturbing the market by offering a true alternative – a fast, reliable satellite broadband and hardware all at a competitive price.

In May 2018, Iridium made maritime history as the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) officially recognized Iridium as a provider of GMDSS services. With the service targeted to launch in January 2020, Iridium Certus® will soon end a GMDSS maritime industry monopoly that has existed for some time and will allow for coverage where none existed before, including Arctic and Antarctic waters.

So, if you’ve yet to hear about this new service or want to know what all the fuss is about, here are some key questions answered:

What is Iridium Certus®?

Iridium Certus® is an advanced multi-service platform enabled by the next generation Iridium constellation (NEXT). Offering the highest L-Band data throughput when it is upgraded to 700kb/s, Iridium Certus redefines the capabilities of mobile satellite communications across maritime, IoT, aviation, land mobile, and government applications. Iridium Certus® is ideal for supporting critical connectivity needs regardless of location, terrain, and weather events – all on a single platform.

What makes Iridium Certus® stand out?

Iridium Certus® delivers new options to the satellite broadband market. The service delivers competitively priced, high-performing, pole-to-pole global satellite coverage supporting many important functions including, business operations, IoT applications, crew welfare and critical safety services.

How is Iridium Certus® different from the competition? 

Since its Commercial Service Introduction (CSI) in January 2019, Iridium Certus® has already proven to be a highly reliable network and offers end users significant advantages over the competition.  Its satellite network is in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with a key benefit that data transfer has low latency (delay), due to satellites being in relatively close proximity to Earth – at approximately 781 km above the Earth with Iridium Certus® versus 36,000 km for Geostationary Orbit (GEO), that’s over 40 times closer to the user.

Other key benefits of the Iridium Certus® service is that it offers multiple points of redundancy and provides truly global coverage with its mesh-like network, providing pole-to-pole connectivity.

How is Iridium Certus® more than satellite broadband? 

The service is designed to be a multi-solution platform for all industry verticals. It provides multiple high definition voice lines, with data speeds at 352 Kbps upgraded to 704 Kbps with a firmware update expected this year. Iridium Certus® will also deliver multiple streaming classes and safety services with eventual speeds reaching approximately 1.4 Mbps,

Who can use Iridium Certus®

Whether you are a large vessel with heavy data needs, or a smaller operation, Iridium Certus® makes it possible for any industry to have access to reliable, high-quality satellite connectivity, anywhere in the world.

Which terminals support the new service?

World-class manufacturers, Cobham and The Thales Group have developed cutting-edge terminals to support Iridium Certus®. For the maritime market, Cobham’s SAILOR 4300 and The Thales Group’s VesseLINK are easy to install, light-weight and small form factor antennas. For land The Thales Group’s MissionLINK is robust and user friendly yet small enough to fit in a backpack.

How do I sign up to the Iridium Certus® service?

Iridium Certus® Global Maritime Launch Partner, The AST Group, has an expansive Certus offering, and as an Iridium Tier 1 Partner, AST is the number one choice for customers looking to adopt the Iridium Certus® service. With over 27 years of industry experience and a range of value added services including the unique capabilities of INTEGRA Control and INTEGRA Edge, which seamlessly integrated with Iridium Certus, AST offers the most complete solution on the market. For the latest Iridium Certus® promotions and offers from AST please visit

What are customers saying about Iridium Certus® from AST?

In January 2019, AST made the very first Iridium Certus® commercial activation with it’s long term partner Alphatron onboard Oceanwide Expeditions ‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’.

"SV Rembrandt van Rijn is used for cruise expeditions in the polar regions. With up to 33 excited passengers on-board the vessel uses large amounts of data, with e-mails and photographs of local wildlife and scenery being sent home and posted on social media. During a recent upgrade of communications, Iridium Certus® was of course the ideal choice, offering faster speeds and reliable coverage in these remote polar regions, enhancing their unique experience.” – Dennis Winterswijk, Alphatron Marine B.V.

Where can I find out more about Iridium Certus® from AST?

For more information about Iridium Certus® from AST, please visit or email

Source: Ovienmhada, D. (2019). Ten Things to Know About Iridium CertusSM | Iridium Satellite Communications. [online] Iridium Satellite Communications. Available at:

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