Iridium expands reach of mobile satellite services in South Africa

The South African government, business and consumer sectors will soon have greater access to mobile satellite services (MSS), following Iridium’s founding of a South Africa branch. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has granted Iridium South Africa licences to operate, provide and sell MSS throughout the country.

Iridium’s low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellation provides mobile voice and data communications across the globe, offering service in regions where no other means of communication exists. The South African government is expected to use MSS to provide backup communications in urban and rural areas, as well as in emergency situations.

“A satellite communications service covering the entire globe, as well as all corners of our country, including her shores and areas that may never be served otherwise by current service providers, is an enormous development for South Africa,” said Dr. John K. Nkadimeng, patron of the John Kgoana Nkadimeng Foundation, and one of the champions of the liberation struggle for freedom in South Africa.

While the more remote areas of South Africa’s large rural land mass are set to benefit from the widened reach of Iridium’s voice and data services, the benefits to industry will also be significant. South Africa’s significant mining operations require continuous delivery of intelligent communications on valuable assets in real time; this process can be facilitated by global low-latency, two-way machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The country’s established and emerging industries, growing infrastructure and adventure tourist industry are also set to benefit from access to MSS.

Demand for truly global MSS has helped fuel Iridium’s international expansion. The company continues to pursue licenses in other significant geographical markets, such as Russia and China.

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