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AWS Taps Iridium Satellites To Globalize Its IoT

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is pushing to take its Internet of Things (IoT) platform global, even to regions where Internet connectivity is spotty or nonexistent.

It's doing this with the help of partner Iridium Communications, a provider of global satellite network services based in McLean, Va. Iridium is in the midst of a massive project to replace its existing satellites with next-generation tech. As part of a $3 billion joint effort with SpaceX, Iridium plans to launch a total of 75 so-called "Iridium NEXT" satellites into space by the end of this year.

Iridium also already supports a large number of IoT devices through its network -- roughly 630,000 as of this past June, according to the company.

That number is poised to balloon in 2019, when Iridium's partnership with AWS, dubbed "Iridium CloudConnect," is expected to go live. Leveraging its global -- and by then newly upgraded -- network of satellites, Iridium will integrate its IoT services with those of AWS, "extending the reach of AWS's powerful suite of services to the more than 80 percent of the Earth that lacks cellular coverage," the company said in its announcement of the collaboration.

Under the partnership, Iridium customers will be able to easily access the AWS platform to develop IoT solutions, while AWS will tap Iridium's satellite infrastructure to give its developers a much greater geographic reach.

"Iridium CloudConnect will completely change the speed at which a satellite IoT solution can be deployed and will allow existing AWS customers to keep everything the same on the back end, while opening up the opportunity to quickly expand their coverage," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch in a prepared statement. "This is a major disruption for satellite IoT. Costs will drop, time to market will speed up, risk will be reduced, and AWS IoT customers that choose Iridium CloudConnect can now enjoy true global connectivity for their solutions."

More information on Iridium CloudConnect is available here.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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