Iridium - Satellite Network Operator

Website: Iridium

Iridium Communications is a global satellite communications company that operates a unique satellite network known as the Iridium satellite constellation. This constellation consists of multiple low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that provide voice and data communication services around the world.

Here are some key points about Iridium and its satellite network:

Iridium Satellite Constellation: The Iridium satellite constellation consists of 66 operational satellites in orbit around the Earth, with additional spares. These satellites are positioned in six polar orbits, ensuring global coverage, including remote and polar regions. The constellation was originally designed to have 77 satellites, but it currently operates with a reduced number due to ongoing replacements and upgrades.

Global Coverage: Iridium's satellite network offers truly global coverage, making it suitable for users in areas without reliable terrestrial or cellular connectivity. The network covers the entire Earth, including oceans, deserts, and polar regions.

Services: Iridium provides a range of voice and data communication services, including:

Voice Calls: Iridium phones, also known as Iridium handsets, allow users to make voice calls from virtually anywhere on the planet. This is particularly useful for users in remote or isolated locations, such as mariners, polar researchers, and remote field workers.

Short Burst Data (SBD): Iridium offers SBD services, which enable the transmission of small packets of data, such as text messages, telemetry, and GPS tracking information. This service is commonly used for remote monitoring and asset tracking.

Broadband Data: Iridium Certus is the company's broadband data service, offering higher-speed data connectivity for applications such as internet access, video streaming, and other data-intensive tasks.

IoT Solutions: Iridium provides solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), allowing the connectivity of a wide range of devices, sensors, and machines in remote or mobile environments.

Crosslinking Technology: One of the unique features of the Iridium constellation is its crosslinking technology. Satellites in the constellation communicate with each other as well as with ground stations, enabling seamless global coverage and eliminating the need for large ground-based infrastructure.

Applications: Iridium's services are used across various sectors, including maritime, aviation, defense, government, remote industrial operations, emergency response, and humanitarian efforts.

Evolution: Iridium has continued to evolve its satellite network and services, launching new satellites and upgrading its technology to offer faster and more reliable communication solutions.


Satellite Operator NameIridium
Company Launch dateNovember 1, 1988
Headquartered CountryUnited States
SpecializationGlobal mobile satellite communications
Partnership/CollaborationSpaceX and Amazon Web Services
Satellite ConstellationConstellation of LEO satellites(Iridium NEXT constellation)
Satellite Coverage AreaGlobal coverage
Satellite OrbitLEO (Low Earth Orbit)
Satellite Range780 Km
Notable SatellitesIridium NEXT satellites
Current StatusActive
Services OfferedVoice and data communication services, including satellite phones, IoT connectivity, and tracking solutions
Sustainability InitiativesCommitted to sustainability and has implemented initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and improve environmental practices