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26th February 2019

Iridium Certus is taking the market by storm – here’s the things you need to know!

Since the final batch of satellites reached orbit and commercial launch commenced in January 2019, there’s certainly been a buzz around Iridium Certus. If you work in the maritime industry and are still yet to find out what all the hype is about, let us fill you in on ten things worth knowing about Iridium Certus and why it’s making a splash in the marketplace.

1. What is Iridium Certus and how does it work? Iridium Certus is the brand-new L-Band communications service recently launched by Iridium. It’s powered by Iridium NEXT, a $3 billion satellite constellation and low latency network which delivers uniform global coverage; Iridium provide the only networks to cover the Poles, and high-speed, always-on connections.  The low frequency L-Band signal of the Iridium network is unaffected by weather making it extremely reliable.

2. What makes Iridium Certus stand out? Iridium Certus offers a smaller, lighter, faster, cheaper, and more flexible alternative to other communications services available today.  In a nutshell, it offers customers much more for their money than what they get with existing equivalent services.

3. What services does Iridium Certus offer - anything different to other satellite broadband services available? Yes, the service is designed to be a multi-solution platform, so as well as delivering impressive high speeds of 704 Kbps and multiple HD voice lines, it will offer additional proprietary services built-in such as Iridium Short Burst Data and a Push-to-Talk radio service. It has also been approved for GMDSS, the first maritime service to have been approved for the mandatory safety service since Inmarsat-C. Because of this, Iridium Certus will certainly deliver something new to maritime satcom users.

4. Which maritime users can benefit from using Iridium Certus? Certus has been developed to meet the needs of most maritime users, from large vessels with heavy data needs to much smaller operations thanks to the compact terminal. It will be very attractive to vessel managers and owners that are looking to upgrade their communications and access faster speeds, access better coverage including Polar routes, all whilst still keeping control of their costs. With its advanced capabilities, it will offer much superior value as a standalone communications solution. 

5. Why does Iridium Certus make such a good VSAT companion system? Iridium Certus is an ideal companion for VSAT services such as Satcom Global Aura due to its high-performance capabilities. With Certus, vessel operators won’t need to worry about a ‘drop’ in service quality if in back-up mode, meaning usage on-board will be able to continue as normal.  This will provide a welcome change from ‘business email only’ rules usually applied for the back-up service. This will be especially popular with ship managers requiring fast back-up for a strong crew welfare policy as well as vessels sailing Polar routes.

6. Which terminals support the new L-Band service? Both Cobham and Thales have developed small form factor, easy to install, lightweight terminals to support Iridium Certus.  Cobham’s SAILOR 4300 and VesseLINK by Thales are both very competitively priced in comparison to similar products available. Existing Iridium maritime terminals such as Iridium Pilot will continue to function normally when the new network is in operation, however these vessels will not benefit from the new Iridium Certus speeds without upgrading to an Iridium Certus terminal……so get that upgraded booked in now!

7. How much does Iridium Certus cost for all these extra features and higher speeds? Surprisingly less than you’d think. Iridium Certus is actually cheaper than most L-Band services including FleetBroadband, enabling customers to take advantage of the new technology, capabilities and benefits without spending any more money per month. At Satcom Global, we are offering special bundles which provide an Iridium Certus data plan plus SAILOR 4300 rental for a price comparable to an Inmarsat FleetBroadband airtime-only plan. You can find out more here.

8. How do I sign up for Iridium Certus? Get in touch with us today to find more about the service and our special deals at [email protected]! Satcom Global is one of a select group of experienced global Service Distribution Partners specifically chosen to deliver Iridium Certus to the maritime market right from launch!

9. Why should I look to Satcom Global for my Iridium Certus solution? With over 45 years of maritime experience and one of the largest global Iridium OpenPort providers, Satcom Global is very well placed to support you in your Iridium Certus purchase. As a full-service operator with in-house development and engineering capabilities, we work with our customers to develop the right solution to fit their needs and budget. 

10. How soon can I get Iridium Certus? Iridium Certus is available to order now from Satcom Global! We have hardware in stock and can support your requirements for speedy installation leveraging the expertise of our in-house engineering and solutions teams. 


Satcom Global has a number of customers installing the compact Iridium Certus antennas around the world, with vessels already reaping the benefits of the next generation global broadband service.  Providing the fastest L-band speeds available at competitive price points, we think Iridium Certus will shake up the market status quo, offering the maritime market a very welcome choice.

If you’re interested in learning more about Iridium Certus and how it could benefit you, or would like a quote for your fleet, please contact us today at [email protected]


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