New Iridium Edge makes it possible to extend Internet of Things beyond cellular limits

Iridium Communications launched this week Iridium Edge, its cost-effective global asset tracking, safety and fleet management device.  A plug-and-play designed solution, Iridium Edge enables companies of all sizes to rapidly expand their IoT applications beyond cellular coverage.  With over 80 percent of the earth lacking cellular connectivity, Iridium Edge is an ideal device for companies in need of a reliable, global IoT solution.

Iridium Edge is a rugged, environmentally sealed device designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, typical of remote, unattended installations. Configured through a user-friendly interface, the device contains a robust automotive power supply, an Iridium modem and certified antenna, housed within a small waterproof enclosure (130mm x 80mm x 30mm).

Iridium Edge is a cost-effective satellite IoT communications device that can be rapidly deployed and complements terrestrial-based solutions to create worldwide connectivity. Iridium provides global IoT/M2M coverage for the most remote and inaccessible areas of the world. The key applications for Iridium Edge include fleet management, remote monitoring, SCADA, asset tracking and maritime.

Due to the unique design of the Iridium constellation, with a network of inter-connected satellites creating a web of coverage, Iridium Edge can provide connectivity while avoiding blockage problems commonly associated with other satellite solutions. Blockage mitigation is especially important in mobile terrestrial deployments as many global fleets operate in various conditions, including mountainous or occluded urban environments.

Iridium Edge is fully compatible with original Iridium constellation as well as Iridium’s next-generation constellation, Iridium NEXT.  The new constellation will also enable Iridium CertusS, the company’s communications platform supporting a portfolio of critical communications solutions for all industry verticals. The Iridium Certus IoT capabilities will include faster speeds and higher throughputs, delivering low-latency satellite connectivity for tracking, monitoring, data and voice and asset management functions.

Iridium Edge has already been approved for use in major global markets, including the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia with additional markets planned. Iridium Edge can be used to add satellite connectivity for cellular-based applications, or as a fixed location satellite-based monitoring device. The global nature of the device extends the range of coverage to even the most remote locations, providing reliable connectivity, and allows companies to take advantage of new opportunities in countries or regions previously less accessible.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers its portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications.

“We’ve heard from many partners who are eager to expand their IoT applications to parts of the world where they don’t currently exist, but may not be able to justify the business case to develop that solution themselves,” said Tim Last, vice president and general manager of IoT at Iridium. “Iridium Edge has reduced that barrier to adoption and is as easy to integrate as existing cellular solutions on the market today, with one key difference, adding Iridium Edge takes them global.”

“The cost and development effort of adding satellite to a cellular solution has been reduced, and the simplicity of integrating Iridium Edge with existing solutions creates an opportunity for extending IoT to the rest of the world not currently served by reliable connectivity,” Last added.

To date, Iridium partners, such as CalAmp, have integrated Iridium Edge with their product portfolio. CalAmp’s solutions using Iridium Edge will allow companies to deploy dual-mode asset management and tracking capabilities. This integration will enable its customers to efficiently extend the tracking range of their mobile assets out to remote areas lacking terrestrial infrastructure.

“We are excited to be a part of bringing Iridium Edge to the market,” said Justin Schmid, senior vice president and general manager of the telematics systems business at CalAmp. “It is easy to use, and we are excited for the opportunities it will bring our customers with asset tracking and management needs that reach beyond existing cellular networks.  Customers who may have been hesitant to add a satellite-based solution due to cost or time requirements have another option.”

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