Iridium Communications Inc. and maritime navigation and communications equipment leader Furuno Electric Co., Ltd.. announced a strategic partnership Monday in which Furuno will be marketing Iridium satellite services and products initially in Japan.
As part of this agreement, Furuno will be developing a new part of its portfolio of satellite communications service with Iridium. That may include the Iridium Pilot antennas, powered by the Iridium OpenPort broadband service, providing the industry's only pole-to-pole mobile wireless coverage for ships at sea; Iridium GO!, the world's first truly global online smartphone access device; weather resistant Iridium Extreme handset; and the Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD) service.
Furuno will focus on providing its customers with the benefits from the capabilities that will be enabled by Iridium NEXT, the Company's next-generation satellite constellation.
"We are extremely pleased to announce our relationship with Iridium and offer the many benefits of its satellite network to our customers," said Kazuma Waimatsu, director, satcom dept., marine electronic div., FURUNO. "Iridium products and services provide excellent reliability and global coverage, which our customers appreciate and need."
The Iridium global mobile satellite network delivers reliable communications, anywhere on the planet—even polar regions—and its unique mesh architecture of 66 cross-linked satellites is less susceptible to inclement weather or interference that may impact the performance of other systems. This reliable, truly global coverage is necessary for critical maritime communications.
"We are excited that Furuno—recognized as a global leader in maritime navigation and communications gear—has joined Iridium's ecosystem of partners," said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Iridium. "Together, we'll be enabling more ships to navigate safely—anywhere and everywhere at sea—leveraging the unique benefits of the Iridium network."