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Perfectly in sync, while traveling more than 30,000 kilometers per hour

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The satellites of the Iridium network cover the entire earth with connectivity unmatched by any other communications provider.

The first Iridium satellite was deployed in 1997 and the network was fully operational in 1998. In 2019, Iridium completed an upgrade to the Iridium constellation, replacing all satellites without ever disrupting service.

Most other networks use geostationary orbit (GEO) at about 35,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) from the planet.

The Iridium constellation is in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), approximately 780 kilometers (485 miles) above the Earth, providing stronger signals and faster connections through smaller antennas with lower power requirements.

Additionally, the unique structure of Iridium’s Low-Earth Orbit allows satellites to converge at the poles, ensuring coverage in the remote high-latitude regions where no other satellite provider has coverage.

Iridium’s LEO network uses L-band frequencies to communicate with the users. These frequencies are more resilient to weather than the frequencies used by most GEO networks, providing reliable communications even in adverse conditions in the air, on the sea, or on the ground.

Together, the satellites create a global mesh of coverage.

In space, each satellite is cross-linked to four others, providing advantages in reliability and resiliency.

These cross-links provide network optimization and redundancy, ensuring that data can be rerouted and transmitted at the fastest possible speeds no matter what happens on earth or in space.

The gateway processes the message or call, then delivers it to the carrier, internet, or customer.

Onboard each satellite are systems controlled by an expert team of engineers from Leesburg, Virginia, allowing them to upload new instructions or software, troubleshoot anomalies, and optimize user experiences.

This also means when the satellites eventually reach the end of their lives, Iridium engineers can carefully and safely de-boost and de-orbit each one from space, helping keep space clean and sustain it for future missions.

Beyond maintenance, the Iridium network is overseen by an international team of experts in state-of-the-art facilities around the world.

This team provides 24/7 monitoring of the network, processes voice and data traffic, conducts systems integration testing, develops software upgrades for new technologies, and supports the network of terminals that communicate to and from the satellites.

Couple smiling at a campsite in the forest using an Iridium phone

On the ground, our network connects thousands of devices across the world from both Iridium and our partners.

These industry-leading companies leverage our unique network and technologies to manufacture, develop, and market Iridium Connected® devices to solve problems, maintain critical lifelines, and keep people connected.

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