Yes, Iridium Is Still Around, And Yes, It's Still Got Hardly Any Users

from the not-sure-who-thought-this-was-a-good-idea dept

Iridium was one of the most spectacular failures of the late '90s, as the satellite phone service that cost $5 billion to build was eventually bought out of bankruptcy for $25 million. The company that picked it up on the cheap has made some money from it since it wasn't saddled by all that debt and was able to quickly get a government contract after the purchase. It's not clear how much money Iridium pulls in, since it's a private company, but its CEO said in its mid-year report that it "met or exceeded its targets for subscribers, revenue and profitability" for the first half of the year. No telling, either, how high -- or low -- those targets are, but probably not too high, as there are still just 127,000 Iridium users worldwide. Using that $5 billion figure, the initial cost of the network has worked out to over $39,000 per user. No wonder they had to charge so much.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2005 @ 6:39pm

    No Subject Given

    osama loves his irridium phone

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2005 @ 10:00pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      Actually, he *liked* his inmarsat phone... untill 500lb bombs started falling on his head.

      LEO spot beam birds are even worse than inmarsat. You can practically target with them in the conversation lasts long enough or the target stays in the same place long enough.

      In short, no self-respecting terrorist would be caught dead (quite litterally) with an iridium network phone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.