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Iridium and Rolls-Royce Marine to Expand the Reach and Capabilities of Autonomous Vessels

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Iridium and Rolls-Royce Marine to Expand the Reach and Capabilities of Autonomous Vessels

All the world's waterways are an option for autonomous vessels with the Iridium® network providing pole-to-pole connectivity

PR Newswire

MCLEAN, Va., Aug. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today the signing of a Letter of Intent with smart shipping pioneer Rolls-Royce Marine (RRM), in support of their autonomous vessel development program. Through this arrangement, RRM and Iridium will work together to explore incorporating Iridium's next-generation L-band satellite broadband service, Iridium CertusSM, into the RRM suite of Ship Intelligence solutions.  By doing so, RRM will have a resilient and reliable broadband capability that can serve as a standalone option or high throughput backup, while expanding the reach of autonomous vessels to all the world's waterways.

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce Marine.

As a leader in the autonomous vessel movement, RRM's solutions deliver multifaceted enhancements to ships, enabling remote diagnostics, operations and performance monitoring capabilities.  Among many offerings, these solutions provide remote access to onshore operators and control centers, delivering real-time connectivity and automation. By automating processes such as navigation, crew are able to focus on more valuable areas of vessel operations helping to streamline overall functionality, ushering in a new digital era of shipping.

A strategic part of the maritime industry's future, autonomous ships are being examined by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where they are defining the regulatory environment and degrees of autonomy for Maritime Autonomous Surface Shipsi. The capabilities offered by Iridium Certus will help streamline management of vessel operations, whether for command and control, engine diagnostics, tracking information and other onboard processes for a simple, secure and reliable experience.

"When evaluating partners for our remote and autonomous vessel development program and Ship Intelligence solutions, Iridium is complementing our connectivity strategy for a number of reasons," said Kenneth Solberg, technical product manager, Ship Intelligence, Rolls-Royce Marine. "Their new interconnected Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network is able to provide global coverage with low latencies for both coastal and ocean going vessels, while at the same time having the robustness of the L-band. And being an actor with truly global coverage, including polar regions, vessel owners will have the confidence that wherever they sail their ship, it will stay connected. The small form-factor antennas and terminals enabled by Iridium Certus have no moving parts, reducing the risk of breakdowns, and are built to withstand the harsh conditions at sea. The journey of enabling Iridium Certus to be compliant with RR remote and autonomous operational requirements, sets the stage for an exciting offering that we look forward to begin exploring."

Iridium operates the world's largest, and only pole-to-pole, mobile commercial satellite constellation. The network is comprised of 66 crosslinked LEO satellites that blanket the entire planet with reliable satellite connectivity. The Iridium network enables a portfolio of maritime applications, including voice and data communications, and is poised to supercharge these capabilities with Iridium Certus. Enabled by Iridium NEXT, the Company's next-generation, $3 billion satellite constellation, Iridium Certus will provide high quality voice capabilities, alongside enterprise-grade broadband functionality, for the entire planet, whether on land, in the air or at sea. The service, planned for commercial availability in 2018, will soon after deliver the fastest L-band satellite broadband speeds on the market, through small-form-factor, cost-effective terminals. Initial service offering speeds will debut at 352 Kbps and will later be upgradable to 704 Kbps with a firmware upgrade.  

"Enabling the digitalization of shipping is at the core of our strategy for our maritime business, and we are proud to begin exploring this opportunity with Rolls-Royce Marine," said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager, Maritime at Iridium. "Iridium's constellation is an ideal network to support autonomous vessels, due to its inherent resiliency, mobility and truly global coverage.  Supporting RRM's revolutionary autonomous vessel initiative is a natural and exciting next step that we are fully equipped to take."

Iridium NEXT is the Company's next-generation satellite constellation currently being launched by SpaceX. To date, there have been seven successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 65 new satellites. One launch remains before completion of the company's historic constellation refresh.  In total, 75 new satellites are being launched to LEO, of which 66 will be in the active constellation, with nine on-orbit spares.

Iridium will be exhibiting at the SMM Maritime trade fair, September 4th to 7th in Hamburg, Germany. Visit us in Hall B6 booth #244.

For more information about Iridium Certus, please visit https://www.iridium.com/company/industryleadership/iridiumcertus.

For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.IridiumNEXT.com.

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 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.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the deployment and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation and products and services to be offered over the constellation, including Iridium Certus, as well as the potential market for such products and services. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates," "may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development and functionality of Iridium NEXT and related products and services, and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 22, 2018, and in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, filed with the SEC on July 31, 2018, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium's expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.


i http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/PressBriefings/Pages/08-MSC-99-MASS-scoping.aspx

 

Press Contact:

Investor Contact:



Jordan Hassin

Kenneth Levy

Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium Communications Inc.

+1 (646) 872-0067

+1 (703) 287-7570

Jordan.Hassin@iridium.com

Ken.Levy@iridium.com

Twitter: @IridiumComm

Twitter: @IridiumIR

 

Iridium Communications Inc. (PRNewsfoto/Iridium Communications Inc.)

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SOURCE Iridium Communications Inc.

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