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Iridium is taking full advantage of its Partners Conference this week to bolster its market position. Following yesterday’s announcement of a major US Department of Defense contract the company announced today a Memorandum of Understanding with LEO upstart OneWeb to see if there are synergies in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) neighborhood that could allow the two companies to grow better together rather than apart.
Noting many existing Iridium L-band customers are also using the broadband capacity available from Ku-band providers today, Iridium CEO Matt Desch suggests “great potential for this offering” with services that “are unique and complementary.” But it is also the very, very early stages of this effort. This is just an MoU and the development of the offering(s) – and even what the end solutions might eventually look like – remains very much under discussion today.
In many ways this is similar to OneWeb’s announcement earlier this month about plans to revolutionize the inflight connectivity market. There are concepts and ideas but the formal structure of just what that offering will look like remains less clear.
And the onus is mostly on OneWeb to define what that value looks like.