Iridium Names Development Partners
Iridium has named suppliers to help it build and deploy the Iridium Next satellite constellation over the next several years. Partners will include Boeing, General Dynamics, Avaliant, KinetX, MicroSat Systems and Trident Sensors. The Next network is predicted to cost around $2.2 billion and will consist of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites plus a dozen or so spares. Iridium plans to offer high-speed-data, voice and text messaging services once the satellites are launched, expected to occur between 2013 and 2017. The Iridium Next network will use the same cross-link architecture as the current Iridium constellation, but it will employ IP technology. Iridium last month also put out tenders for additional partners interested in joining the development team. The next step will involve finding the funding to build the satellites.