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.
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  1. 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.

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