Shares of satellite communications company Iridium Communications (NASDAQ:IRDM) jumped as much as 16.4% on Friday, following the announcement of a partnership between Iridium and in-flight broadband connectivity and wireless entertainment services company Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO). At the time of this writing, Iridium stock is up 11.3% on Friday.
The partnership, which consisted of Gogo and Iridium partnering to deliver "best-in-class aircraft connectivity," helped validate the appeal of Iridium Certus aviation terminals, which Gogo will manufacturer and use for its new L-band broadband service for business aviation.
Iridium investors may like the partnership since Gogo's business aviation connectivity platforms and services are "found in virtually every size and type of business aircraft flying globally," according to Iridium's press release about the partnership.
"Now, as a [value-added manufacturer] and service provider for Iridium Certus, Gogo will be able to offer higher-speed data rates for business aircraft operating anywhere in the world," said Gogo's vice president of business and product development for its Gogo Business Aviation division.
Gogo's Iridium Certus service is delivered through the growing Iridium NEXT low-earth-orbit satellite constellation.
The partnership showcases Iridium's next-generation constellation of Iridium NEXT satellites, which management says is a $3 billion network. So far, Iridium has deployed 55 of these new satellites in six successful spacecraft launches, but Iridium plans to deploy 20 more satellites into the constellation during 2018.