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IoT & M2M Iridium

September 19, 2023

RUDICS vs. Certus 100: time for a switch?

Iridium’s Router-Based Unrestricted Digital Internetworking Connectivity (RUDICS) emerged in the early 2000s to enable remote devices to connect to internet servers via TCP/IP. The prior system, dial-up data, imposed a substantial overhead each time the service activated due to necessary checks before data transmission.

RUDICS improved this by connecting calls to predefined IP addresses, eliminating the checks and achieving near-instantaneous connections. This brought advantages such as reduced power usage at the remote transmitter end, lower latency, and overall efficiency in accessing the Iridium system.

Over almost two decades, RUDICS has been crucial for various applications involving multiple remote units in the field, such as data buoys, water level stations, Unmanned Autonomous Vessels (UAVs), geotechnical and structural monitoring solutions, weather stations, and more.

Iridium RUDICS Applications Banner

In 2019, Iridium introduced its latest satellite capability, Iridium Certus, categorized into three speed classes: Certus 100 for IoT applications, Certus 200 for basic internet and voice, and Certus 700 for the fastest L-band internet broadband speeds, reaching up to 704 kbps.

When comparing RUDICS to Certus, we’re focusing exclusively on Iridium Certus 100, both designed to connect remote devices to servers using TCP/IP, although Certus 100 offers an alternative option here, which we’ll discuss later.

Key differences between RUDICS and Certus 100:

Data speeds

RUDICS transmits data at 2.4 Kbps, while Certus 100 transmits at 22 Kbps, with an 88 Kbps downlink—almost 40 times faster. This enables more frequent and larger data transmissions.

Costs/billing mechanism:

RUDICS charges per minute, contrasting with Certus 100’s per byte billing model. This often makes RUDICS more expensive for many applications, potentially resulting in unnecessary connectivity cost.

RUDICS is circuit-switched

RUDICS operates on a circuit-switched model, necessitating continuous maintenance of the ‘call’ between the remote device and the server.

Certus 100 is packet-switched

In contrast, Certus 100 uses a packet-switched network, transmitting data in optimized, small packets, reducing the risk of mid-transmission drops.

In our assessment, Certus 100 offers a more reliable, cost-effective, and scalable solution for remote data transfer compared to RUDICS, with very few exceptions.

Moreover, Certus 100 supports TCP/IP-based connectivity and provides the option of sending data via Iridium Messaging Transport (IMT), a message-based transmission protocol. IMT allows sending and receiving messages of up to 100,000 bytes, enabling additional sensor readings, higher data resolution, photographs, or even low-resolution video. Importantly, utilizing IMT substantially reduces data transmission costs, as you’re only billed for the successfully delivered data payload, without TCP/IP overhead.

If you're currently using RUDICS, let's talk

We can determine potential cost savings by switching to Certus 100 and navigate any technical implications that may arise.

We've been Iridium partners since 2005, providing us with the expertise to offer an experienced, objective perspective on the most suitable connectivity solution for your needs. Just complete the form or call / email us to start the conversation.
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