Satellite network provider Iridium has announced a collaboration with AWS on a ‘satellite cloud-based solution’ that will offer global coverage for AWS IoT applications. Iridium’s ‘CloudConnect’ will launch in 2019.

With everyone getting fired up over 5G, it can be easy to forget that large parts of the globe lack the cellular infrastructure required to truly exploit IoT. This infrastructure gap must be solved if the economic benefits of IoT are to be distributed evenly around the world.

As a satellite-based network, Iridium can tap into the 80% of the globe lacking access to cellular infrastructure. As well as extending the AWS suite to this untapped market, the partnership will allow existing Iridium customers to take advantage of AWS IoT.

Both network’s protocols will now automatically translate to and from the appropriate devices and databases. Iridium says through leveraging AWS IoT its customers will be able to reduce engineering efforts, lower fixed operating costs, and reduce time to develop new products and services.

Iridium operates 66 crosslinked satellites, and its IoT service has experienced strong subscriber growth in recent years. According to the company, as of June 2018 the service connects with 630,000 active devices.

Iridium CEO Matt Desch said the collaboration will ‘completely change the speed at which IoT solutions can be deployed’ while preserving users’ AWS configurations.

“This is a major disruption for satellite IoT. Costs will drop, time to market will speed up, risk will be reduced, and AWS IoT customers that choose Iridium CloudConnect can now enjoy true global connectivity for their solutions,” he added.

Last year, the company announced an ambitious $3 billion initiative – dubbed ‘Iridium NEXT’ – to replace its entire 66 satellite ‘constellation’. Using Elon Musk’s SpaceX as launch provider, Iridium has so far launched 65 satellites into Low Earth Orbit.