The original Iridium failed for a variety of reasons, but the biggest was that they had to spend billions of dollars without any indication of whether anyone actually wanted their service. The current Iridium is doing fine, because they bought those billions of dollars worth of assets for $25 million, and immediately signed a $72 million contract with the Defense Department. However, if they want to hang on to their spectrum, they've been told they need to sign a contract worth between $1 and $3 billion for new satellites. They're probably going to sign the deal - but there's a good chance they don't even need that spectrum.
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