Iridium Communications Inc. IRDM recently deployed its highly-lauded cloud-based solution — CloudConnect — in collaboration with Amazon.com, Inc.’s AMZN cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). The partnership, which combines network attributes of Iridium with IoT services of AWS, is apparently the first-of-its-kind satellite cloud-based solution that provides a singular communications platform to manage connected devices anywhere in the world.
Originally slated to launch in 2019, CloudConnect enables devices to transmit messages through the AWS-equipped IoT and cloud services without necessitating the need to connect with Iridium’s Short Burst Data (SBD) Gateway. SBD refers to the satellite company's transceiver-based technology for communicating status messages between central management systems and IoT devices.
Leveraging Iridium’s upgraded constellation of satellites, the disruptive technology dramatically extends AWS’s suite of services to more than 80% of the Earth that lacks cellular coverage. This, in turn, will augment customers’ IoT footprint even in remote areas, thereby enhancing the realm of satellite connectivity and IoT applications.
With a dedicated network of commercial global voice and data communications, Iridium registered 767,000 commercial IoT data subscribers by the end of third-quarter 2019, which represented growth of 25% from the year-ago quarter. The rise in subscriber base was primarily driven by continued strength in personal consumer communications devices.
Utilizing the company’s 66 crosslinked satellites, a constellation of systems, which are currently being replaced by Iridium NEXT satellites in a $3 billion upgrade, the solution enables Iridium’s network-connected IoT devices to communicate intrinsically with Amazon’s cloud-based server and its user interfaces. It leverages a private and secure connection for virtually monitoring CloudConnect traffic, which directly connects Iridium to AWS without using the public Internet. Moreover, it empowers users to create end-to-end data transmission programs for IoT applications with lower operating costs and reduced engineering efforts to develop and launch new products and services in the market.
Iridium primarily benefits from a highly lucrative recurring service revenue base driven by subscriber growth and mobile penetration, stemming from an efficient operating model. The company provides unparalleled mission-critical communications and maintenance services to the military branches of the Department of Defense with global coverage and low latency. It believes in the philosophy of delivering cost-effective and competitive broadband services through its highly-lauded Iridium Certus technology, which offers a wide array of services, ranging from voice to a high-throughput L-band data connection to meet the burgeoning customer demand. Its commercial business is the main source of long-term growth as it serves a diversified customer base in various geographical areas.
The stock has gained 35.5% compared with industry’s growth of 14.1% in the past year. Iridium topped earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the positive surprise being 20.8%, on average.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Iridium currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Few top-ranked stocks in the broader industry are America Movil, S.A.B. de C.V. AMX and Vodafone Group Plc VOD, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
America Movil has a long-term earnings growth rate of 17.2%.
Vodafone has a long-term earnings growth rate of 14.5%.
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