Iridium Communications has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Magnitude Space, an emerging small satellite company. According to Iridium, the MoU reflects the company's interest in exploring collaborative partnerships with complementary NewSpace players, particularly those in the SmallSat low-power arena.
As part of this MoU, the companies will begin discussions on how to collaboratively expand opportunities for space-based Internet of Things (IoT) services with the development of reliable, Low Power Global Area Network (LPGAN) technologies.
Magnitude Space, headquartered in Amsterdam, is planning to build a network of 18 to 24 small satellites that will deliver LPGAN connectivity to remote areas of the world. From monitoring plantation soil moisture levels to tracking livestock, Magnitude Space aims to be a low-cost option for companies in need of low-power monitoring and tracking options that require longer life battery and infrequent non-real-time messaging solutions.
"Lower power initiatives are a key aspect of Iridium's IoT business strategy," said Tim Last, vice president and general manager of Iridium's IoT business. "Magnitude Space has a solid business proposition with a collaborative approach, which is ideal for this exploratory phase of our relationship. The industry needs both medium-to-high power satellite-based IoT solutions, as well as LPGAN offerings, and we can now discuss ways to best leverage both our network, and their offerings to expand our portfolio of premium IoT solutions."
Iridium's IoT business is currently the company's fastest growing line of business and saw commercial IoT data subscribers increase 20 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2017.