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Communications firm Iridium has announced plans to fund, build and deploy a new satellite broadband project.

The organisation has entered into a fixed price contract with Thales Alenia Space to develop and construct satellites for the NEXT constellation, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2015.

As part of the deal, 72 operational satellites will be built, alongside both in-orbit and ground spares.

Matt Desch, Chief Executive Officer of Iridium, said the project was a "critical step" in maintaining the confidence of both customers and partners.

He added: "We have a great partner in Thales Alenia Space, a world leader in satellite systems, who has developed a sophisticated satellite constellation that will allow us to seamlessly transition to an even more powerful network in the future."

Details of the project have come after satellite broadband provider Tariam revealed it has cut the price of its Homenet deals to encourage more people to use the technology.

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