[Via Satellite 03-11-2015] Iridium has selected Thales to join a group of competitively chosen companies to build terminals for its future broadband service Iridium Certus. Thales will create, build and sell products for broadband via Iridium Next satellites, which begin launching in October.
Iridium previously indicated plans to announce at least one more terminal manufacture partner. The company announced the previous four — Cobham Satcom, Rockwell Collins, L-3, and International Communications Group (ICG) — following a competition between more than 30 companies.
Thales Group and Finmeccanica Group joint venture Thales Alenia Space is the prime contractor for the Iridium Next space segment. The initial launch date for Iridium Next fell behind by four months in order to provide Thales Alenia Space with more time for testing payload software, though the end completion date remains set at 2017.
Iridium plans to reveal broadband service partners by the end of the year. Data speeds for Iridium Certus are planned to reach 1.4 megabits per second for a single user terminal following constellation completion. Iridium is assisting the manufacturing partners by supplying core technologies, technical support and testing services.
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