Satellite company partners with Bezos' AWS to bring internet connectivity to the 'whole planet'

Iridium Communications announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services this week, to develop a satellite-based network called CloudConnect for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

"We're really covering the whole planet ... with terrestrial networks today it's still only 10 percent or 20 percent" of the Earth, Iridium CEO Matt Desch told CNBC on Thursday. "Everybody today can connect pretty easily with very little effort. Now that Amazon has put our language into the cloud platform, they can extend their applications to the satellite realm."


CloudConnect, which the company expects to launch in 2019, makes Iridium "the first, and only, satellite provider now connected to" Amazon Web Services, Desch said. The CloudConnect network will focus on "where cellular technologies aren't," Desch said, bringing the rest of the world within reach of AWS.


Amazon has been looking to hire people to work on "interconnecting space system networks," CNBC reported earlier this month. The company has never publicly discussed such a project.


Shares of Iridium rose 7.1 percent in trading, hitting an all-time high of $21.98 a share.

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