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Iridium Inks Deal with Hughes to Develop Access Network

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February 08, 2010

Iridium Inks Deal with Hughes to Develop Access Network

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Iridium Communications Inc., the only mobile satellite service company offering coverage over the entire globe, reportedly has selected Hughes (News - Alert) Network Systems, LLC  to develop an Access Network Controller in its gateway ground radio control network.

According to Iridium (News - Alert) officials, the ANC is part of a multi-year plan to upgrade and evolve its gateway network in preparation for the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.
The company officials said that under the development contract, Hughes will design and supply a fully tested, turnkey ANC system, which will be integrated with Iridium's existing system, together with training and maintenance. Iridium expects the ANC to be complete and operational by the fourth quarter of 2011.
“The new ANC will be a pivotal component of Iridium's global satellite network, processing all voice and data calls based on the Iridium air interface,” said Matthew Mohebbi, vice president and general manager of mobile satellite, Hughes, in a statement. 
Mohebbi said that Hughes is using state-of-the-art Advanced Telecommunication Architecture platforms to design an ANC with significantly increased bandwidth and signal-accessing capabilities to expand Iridium's network capacity, and support the additional features and services planned for Iridium NEXT. 
Hughes is a major player in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses and consumers.
“The ANC project with Hughes is a significant step forward for Iridium's gateway ground network,” said John Roddy (News - Alert), executive vice president of ground operations and product development, Iridium.
Roddy said that initially, it will support all of the company’s current telephony services, more than double the capacity of the existing Iridium system, and create a flexible gateway network with the ability to cost-effectively add earth terminal sites.
“In the long term, the ANC positions us to offer Iridium NEXT services and provide for added capacity and service demands in a cost-effective manner with enhanced reliability and an improved user interface,” he said.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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