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Iridium – a second coming.

by gps4us news 2012-06-06 14:34

Remember Iridium, anyone?

Backed by Motorola financing and technology, the company launched its communication service in 1998 with much fanfare – Al Gore made the first phone call.

However, in spite of the massive capital investment, the company quickly went into bankruptcy, when high cost of hardware and service, poor reception indoors, mismanagement and emerging ubiquity of cellular phones made it unable to attract users.

The group of private investors re-started the company, after purchasing it for just $25 million – a steal, considering that Iridium’s satellites and other assets cost around $6 billion.

With all the proliferation of the cell phones, the cellular networks still cover only around 8% of the globe, and there is a pressing need to provide a reliable way to communicate in areas without available terrestrial.

Currently, Iridium, with 66 satellites, has bigger satellite fleet than all its competitors combined, and while the fleet is aging fast, the company plans to completely replace it with new satellites by 2017. Iridium’s satellites cover entire globe, including the poles – a claim that the competitors will not likely be able to make in the near future.

Such network, coupled with technology, allows Iridium to offer an array of current and future services.

AxcessPoint is a device that allows users use email, make phone calls and send instant messages using their mobile phones as they would next to a Wi-Fi hot-spot.

Iridium’s M2M (machine-to-machine) data service was recently certified to provide voice and internet application to passengers on commercial airlines.

Company’s daily transaction went from 400,000 per day in 2006 to 6 million per day this year, and that number is expected to double by 2013.

Company’s stock went up 50% over the past 8 months as investors realized its strong earning potential.


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