Amazon Partners With Iridium to Bring Internet to the Whole Planet

AlphaAtlas

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Amazon announced a partnership with Iridium Communications, with the goal of developing a satellite network for Internet of Things devices called CloudConnect. Iridium CEO Matt Desh told CNBC that he intends to cover the "whole planet," and expects the service to launch in 2019. SpaceX is almost done launching Iridium's 75 satellite NEXT constellation, which it claims will offer "the best bandwidth over anybody." By connecting directly to AWS, the largest cloud computing service in the world, Iridium seems to think developing devices for the new network will be relatively easy. Amazon and Iridium aren't the first companies to announce a broadband network based on satellites, but they claim to be on the "high end" of the market.

"We're talking things where a couple dollars can deliver really timely information in seconds from anywhere-to-anywhere in the planet," Desch said. Desch expects CloudConnect to initially cater to large things like agricultural equipment or cargo ship in the open sea but said "it will move downwards into smaller and smaller vehicles, such as drones." Iridium is also looking at partnering with low-cost satellite companies like Myriota, Hiber and Fleet – as those will focus on a different range of IoT data. "There are eight or 10 of these new networks that people want to develop with new satellites," Desch said. "We're more of the high end, when you've got to really get the data and it's got to be real time."
 
Satellite IoT - great! Now people will be able to buy Amazon spy-on-me devices and put them everywhere. o_O

Think of the money governments will be able to save by letting Amazon do their surveillance for them!
( Of course, Bezos won't let any data about his friends get out ... but that's fine, right? )
 
I thought Iridium went bankrupt?
The original did. Motorola a major backer, took a bath. They were going to de-orbit the satellite array to save costs but the US govt stepped in with a very good bankruptcy settlement. The resulting company basically got the array for almost free plus a 2 year contract from Uncle Sam. Great for the new company, really crappy for the original + other backers. With no debt, basically new gear and customers, the new Iridium has managed to stay around.
 
The original did. Motorola a major backer, took a bath. They were going to de-orbit the satellite array to save costs but the US govt stepped in with a very good bankruptcy settlement. The resulting company basically got the array for almost free plus a 2 year contract from Uncle Sam. Great for the new company, really crappy for the original + other backers. With no debt, basically new gear and customers, the new Iridium has managed to stay around.

Samaritan.. is that you?
 
The original did. Motorola a major backer, took a bath. They were going to de-orbit the satellite array to save costs but the US govt stepped in with a very good bankruptcy settlement. The resulting company basically got the array for almost free plus a 2 year contract from Uncle Sam. Great for the new company, really crappy for the original + other backers. With no debt, basically new gear and customers, the new Iridium has managed to stay around.

Right as soon as I heard about Iridium launching a new network, my first thoughts were: "who is going to take the bath this time?"

While this is a good time to launch satellite internet (hardware and DSPs are way more mature, so you'll have the bandwidth people are demanding), you still have the problem of making it affordable and usable in a world where you can get a shitty 3G signal almost anywhere.

The number of satellites on the array sounds almost the same as the original, so reception will still be shit if you're indoors, or if there's cloud cover (less satellites means they have to fly higher to cover the entire earth), and there will be added latency.

SpaceXs network is looking to be the only successor to Iridium, because there are thousands of birds much closer to the ground. That should help with reception indoors, and lower latency.
 
you can get a shitty 3G signal almost anywhere.

In America maybe ... but there are a few billion more customers outside of the USA with shittier internet than 3G that would love to get this, so I'd imagine there will be a business case if it ends up working as stated.
 
In America maybe ... but there are a few billion more customers outside of the USA with shittier internet than 3G that would love to get this, so I'd imagine there will be a business case if it ends up working as stated.

And how many of those billions can pay over a hundred dollars a month for satellite internet? And bother installing a dish to get consistent reception?

There is a market for this i the US, and a few other places worldwide, but he rest of he world has no money.
 
There is a market for this i the US, and a few other places worldwide, but he rest of he world has no money.
Just because they charge a customer in the USA a hundred dollars / month, doesn't mean they have to or are going to charge customers in foreign countries the same. Not all products and services go by the Big Mac index.
 
Just because they charge a customer in the USA a hundred dollars / month, doesn't mean they have to or are going to charge customers in foreign countries the same. Not all products and services go by the Big Mac index.

You can do that with software or food or other cheap, terrestrial-manufactured goods, but you can't expect to give people a discount on Satellite Interet, and expect to make money.

That constellation cost3.5 billion dollars to put in the sky. You won't make that back by providing ten-dollar a month internet to poor people in Nairobi.

No, Iridium's Secret to Success is charging each of their 1 million customers several hundred dollars A Month.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/26/iridium-flies-higher-approaches-1-million-customer.aspx

And that number of customers would never rise anyway even if they offered plans cheaper than $50 a month. That's because the custom Satellite transceivers START AT $1000.

https://satellitephonestore.com/iridium-services

You want to offer Internet For Everyone(TM) for what the market will bear, you are going to have to subsidize the cost of the satellite phone. Even mass-produced they would still cost around $500, and would add at least $30/mo rental to those plans.

You wan o pay another billion out of your pocket to subsidize the hardware so we can connect another 2 million customers at $10/mo?

Worldwide Satellite internet will always be the rich man's plaything. It's the reason Musk plays-up the ultra-low cost of each Starlink Satellite launch, while completely ignoring the other expensive end of that connection (transceiver and possible dish installation).
 
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You can do that with software or food or other cheap, terrestrial-manufactured goods, but you can't expect to give people a discount on Satellite Interet, and expect to make money.

That constellation cost3.5 billion dollars to put in the sky. You won't make that back by providing ten-dollar a month internet to poor people in Nairobi.

No, Iridium's Secret to Success is charging each of their 1 million customers several hundred dollars A Month.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/26/iridium-flies-higher-approaches-1-million-customer.aspx

And that number of customers would never rise anyway even if they offered plans cheaper than $50 a month. That's because the custom Satellite transceivers START AT $1000.

https://satellitephonestore.com/iridium-services

You want to offer Internet For Everyone(TM) for what the market will bear, you are going to have to subsidize the cost of the satellite phone. Even mass-produced they would still cost around $500, and would add at least $30/mo rental to those plans.

You wan o pay another billion out of your pocket to subsidize the hardware so we can connect another 2 million customers at $10/mo?

Worldwide Satellite internet will always bet he rich man's plaything. It's the reason Musk plays-up the ultra-low cost of each Starlink Satellite launch, while completely ignoring the other expensive end of that connection (transceiver and possible dish installation)
Fuck?! For that kind of cash, I could get some average hookers and blow. With hookers and blow, who needs a cell phone?
 
You can do that with software or food or other cheap, terrestrial-manufactured goods, but you can't expect to give people a discount on Satellite Interet, and expect to make money.

That constellation cost3.5 billion dollars to put in the sky. You won't make that back by providing ten-dollar a month internet to poor people in Nairobi.

No, Iridium's Secret to Success is charging each of their 1 million customers several hundred dollars A Month.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/26/iridium-flies-higher-approaches-1-million-customer.aspx

And that number of customers would never rise anyway even if they offered plans cheaper than $50 a month. That's because the custom Satellite transceivers START AT $1000.

https://satellitephonestore.com/iridium-services

You want to offer Internet For Everyone(TM) for what the market will bear, you are going to have to subsidize the cost of the satellite phone. Even mass-produced they would still cost around $500, and would add at least $30/mo rental to those plans.

You wan o pay another billion out of your pocket to subsidize the hardware so we can connect another 2 million customers at $10/mo?

Worldwide Satellite internet will always be the rich man's plaything. It's the reason Musk plays-up the ultra-low cost of each Starlink Satellite launch, while completely ignoring the other expensive end of that connection (transceiver and possible dish installation).
You could sell faster service at a premium to businesses, and subsidize the lower tiers using that money (if you have enough customers on the higher tier). I don't know how well that sort of plan would work out in practice...in fact, they may already be doing that to offer the prices they are now.
 
They need to make a consortium, and focus in one company or two to do it. Google, Amazon Apple and so on will be at the mercy of isps is they don't build an independent consortium ( or partnership or whatever) for internet access.
 
In America maybe ... but there are a few billion more customers outside of the USA with shittier internet than 3G that would love to get this, so I'd imagine there will be a business case if it ends up working as stated.

Not even in America.

I realize most people live close to major population centers these days, but in "Flyover land" that pretty red coverage chart Verizon brags about is utter bullshit. drive a few miles from most towns out in the rural parts of America, and you have dial-up internet and may, if you are lucky get a cell signal of some sort.

Solutions like Hughesnet are expensive with massive latency and bandwidth issues.

They should have stuck with the Powerline internet project, that would have at least provided something better than dial-up to all of America.
 
You could sell faster service at a premium to businesses, and subsidize the lower tiers using that money (if you have enough customers on the higher tier). I don't know how well that sort of plan would work out in practice...in fact, they may already be doing that to offer the prices they are now.

What part of my post did you not read? They are already gouging ALL their customers for as much as they can. And since it's a competitive marketplace, those customers can go elsewhere (4 major providers).

These things aren't cheap to operate. HughesNet quotes 1.5 million per-satellite per year, which erases 1/4 of Iridium's yearly revenue. The cost of Satellite communications is quite expensive compared to terrestrial internet.


https://www.globalcomsatphone.com/hughesnet/satellite/costs.html
 
What part of my post did you not read? They are already gouging ALL their customers for as much as they can. And since it's a competitive marketplace, those customers can go elsewhere (4 major providers).

These things aren't cheap to operate. HughesNet quotes 1.5 million per-satellite per year, which erases 1/4 of Iridium's yearly revenue. The cost of Satellite communications is quite expensive compared to terrestrial internet.


https://www.globalcomsatphone.com/hughesnet/satellite/costs.html
I read the whole thing. What part of what you said contradicts what I said?
 
I read the whole thing. What part of what you said contradicts what I said?

They charge 400 dollars a year to a million customers. That's 400 million current revenue.

Doubling that would only give them an exra 400 million per-year, enough cash to hook up a 400,000 people per-year (at current phone price of $1000).

Somebody has to cover the price of these phones. They're custom hardware built just for the satellite network.

You'd probably get to around 2 million subsidized users before broken replacements and user support would absorb all your funding.

And that's assuming your PAYING customers don't just leave in protest. There are more than one Satellite Phone provider out there. While you can convince some larger companies to contribute to your satellite charity, they may not be willing to DOUBLE their current outlay. So he number of people you can help falls further and further.

The dream of giving the entire world cheap internet is never going to happen. There is ALWAYS some expensive terrestrial infrastructure and upkeep costs to overcome.

Even though it has tons of holes, 3G coverage is still he most promising path forward, considering investment cost. That is the only hope for the BILLIONS that are lacking internet, and live in the middle of nowhere. the devices cost ten bucks, instead of a thousand.
 
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Oh. What a wonderful world it can be!

nf_cellphonetoilets-mar-25.jpg
 
They charge 400 dollars a year to a million customers. That's 400 million current revenue.

Doubling that would only give them an exra 400 million per-year, enough cash to hook up a 400,000 people per-year (at current phone price of $1000).

Somebody has to cover the price of these phones. They're custom hardware built just for the satellite network.

You'd probably get to around 2 million subsidized users before broken replacements and user support would absorb all your funding.

And that's assuming your PAYING customers don't just leave in protest. There are more than one Satellite Phone provider out there. While you can convince some larger companies to contribute to your satellite charity, they may not be willing to DOUBLE their current outlay. So he number of people you can help falls further and further.

The dream of giving the entire world cheap internet is never going to happen. There is ALWAYS some expensive terrestrial infrastructure and upkeep costs to overcome.

Even though it has tons of holes, 3G coverage is still he most promising path forward, considering investment cost. That is the only hope for the BILLIONS that are lacking internet, and live in the middle of nowhere. the devices cost ten bucks, instead of a thousand.
I'm still not seeing the contradiction here...
 
I'm still not seeing the contradiction here...


I see that you don't understand how capitalism works. call me back when you learn a bit more about the world.

Because right now you're trying to fix a problem for five hundred thousand people, instead of five billion. An you're throwing truckloads of money to make your bandaid work (getting 400,000 people for 400 million), instead of concentrating your efforts on he best long-term infrastructure investment solution.

Cell towers cost around $250k average to install, so let's double that cost for installation in the middle of nowhere to 500k. So, for that 400 million dollars, you can build about 800 tower s year. A each tower can handle1300 people peak. So, you're adding up to one MILLION new users for the same price(the 3G phones are $40, and work on everyone else's network.

A since cell sites are oversold(no one expects you to be connected 24/7), you can actually service about twice that may customers. You can't do that with your Satellite Phone (because he phone is the limiting factor,not t up link)

The value for your internet investment is much higher with terrestrial wireless. EVERYONE also gets better voice coverage, which meas more ability to handle emergencies.
 
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I see that you don't understand how capitalism works. call me back when you learn a bit more about the world.

Because right now you're trying to fix a problem for five hundred thousand people, instead of five billion. An you're throwing truckloads of money to make your bandaid work (getting 400,000 people for 400 million), instead of concentrating your efforts on he best long-term infrastructure investment solution.

Cell towers cost around $250k average to install, so let's double that cost for installation in the middle of nowhere to 500k. So, for that 400 million dollars, you can build about 800 tower s year. A each tower can handle1300 people peak. So, you're adding up to one MILLION new users for the same price(the 3G phones are $40, and work on everyone else's network.

A since cell sites are oversold(no one expects you to be connected 24/7), you can actually service about twice that may customers. You can't do that with your Satellite Phone (because he phone is the limiting factor,not t up link)

The value for your investment is much higher with terrestrial wireless. EVERYONE also gets better voice coverage, which meas more ability to handle emergencies.
I think you're delusional. I never said all they need to do is subsidize their products/services and everything would be solved. I said they COULD subsidize their service, but I don't know how well it would work, and that they may even already be subsidizing it to get current prices. Nothing you have said goes against what I wrote, and most of what you subsequently said is orthogonal to what I said.
 
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