Iridium and Magnitude Space to jointly explore space-based IoT solution


Iridium Communications has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Netherlands-based start-up Magnitude Space to explore the potential of forming a partnership to develop space-based Internet of Things (IoT) solution.

Under the deal, both companies will also discuss opportunities to develop reliable, low-power global area network (LPGAN) technologies.

Magnitude Space is planning to build a constellation comprising between 18 and 24 small satellites to deliver LPGAN connectivity to remote locations.

“We envision a future where numerous diverse satellite architectures interwork to support the dramatically expanding IoT universe."

Using the Magnitude Space technology, users will be able to receive low-power, low-cost monitoring and tracking options for soil moisture levels, livestock and other sectors.

Iridium Communications CEO Matt Desch said: “We envision a future where numerous diverse satellite architectures interwork to support the dramatically expanding IoT universe.

“From high-bandwidth access points to highly mobile and low-latency devices such as Iridium supports today, to low-power, higher latency networks like Magnitude Space envisions, Iridium has the experience and global platform to enable all of these capabilities to interwork.”

With the new deal, Iridium also aims to develop additional lower power, high-latency alternatives to diversify its IoT offerings and create more cost-effective, complementary options for its IoT partners.

Magnitude Space CEO Ernst Hovinga said: “Since Iridium primarily serves the requirements of customers with fully global, low-latency needs, and we plan to meet the needs of companies requiring low-power monitoring services, we are truly complementary in our respective approaches. 

“We intend to commercially launch in Q2 of 2018 and believe we will be the first to market with such a service offering.”

Iridium is also currently involved in the process of launching its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, which is expected to provide faster speeds and higher throughputs for the company’s IoT services.