The Iridium network comprises of a constellation of 66 satellites in low earth orbit, about 420 nautical miles above the earth's surface.
Iridium Chooses Tesacom To Expand Growth Of Global Satellite Communications Services In Brazil
Bethesda, MD & Rio De Janeiro - In its effort to continue its expansive growth in the Brazilian market, Iridium Satellite announces a strategic partnership with Tesacom do Brasil. Tesacom is a Brazilian telecommunications company. Tesacom holds licenses including Non-Geostationary Satellite Global Mobile Service (SMGS), Multimedia Communications Service (SCM) and Limited Specialized Service (SLE). Tesacom serves markets such as maritime, oil and gas, utilities, agriculture, emergency communications, mining, transportation, government and military.
Iridium is the fastest growing service provider in the mobile satellite services (MSS) sector, and operates the largest commercial – and only global – satellite constellation in the world. Tesacom provides integrated communication solutions to the Brazilian – and other South American – markets including satellite voice and data transmission; text messaging; localization and monitoring; email and file transfer; network integration; software services; professional, consulting and field support services; as well as Spanish, Portuguese and English 24/7 customer and network support.
Iridium chose Tesacom due to its regional leadership and growth. Tesacom has selected Iridium among other MSS operators to provide satellite services to its customer base. This choice of Iridium will not only provide more reliable service to customers, but also increase the scope of Tesacom’s offerings to include Iridium voice and circuit-switched data products and services.
“Our alliance with Tesacom, a well-respected leader in the South American telecommunications sector, will provide an important boost in offering Iridium services to the growing South American market,” said Greg Ewert, executive vice president, Iridium Satellite. “Tesacom joins the increasing number of distribution partners and customers switching to Iridium due to our reputation for providing excellent service.”
Year-over-year, Iridium voice and circuit-switched data traffic originating in Brazil has grown by 62 percent. In the last three months alone, traffic in Brazil has increased by more than 73 percent over the same period last year. In addition to many customers switching to Iridium satellite phones, Iridium is seeing its partners, such as Tesacom, launching new and innovative data applications to exploit the power and global reach of the Iridium network.
“This new relationship represents a strong growth opportunity for Tesacom in the Brazilian market,” said Jose Sanchez Elia, CEO, Tesacom. “Iridium’s unique ‘life-line’ attributes – pole-to-pole coverage, security, availability and reliability – make the system an attractive selection for many of our customers. We are very reassured by Iridium’s proven 99 percent level of call connectivity and we believe our subscribers will take confidence in the company’s Network Quality Guarantee. To give Brazilian customers confidence in this new partnership and reduce the switching cost, Tesacom is offering a limited-time Rebate Program for customers that select to change from other MSS service providers and purchase new Iridium terminals from Tesacom.”
SOURCE: Iridium Satellite LLC
Iridium Satellite Announces Third Quarter 2006 Results
Wednesday November 8, 12:05 am ET
Company Posts Growth in Subscribers and Earnings; Plans for Next Generation Network
BETHESDA, Md., Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Satellite LLC announces that it now has approximately 169,000 subscribers worldwide as of September 30, 2006 versus approximately 137,500 subscribers at the same time last year. For the nine months ended September 30, 2006, Iridium posted total revenue of $159.3 million. Iridium's total revenue in the third quarter was $54.7 million. Third quarter 2006 EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) was $14.0 million. EBITDA through nine months was $39.9 million. Iridium results show considerable momentum, particularly from increased demand for voice and data services from commercial customers. Commercial Service revenue continued to grow, and it now comprises approximately 70 percent of total revenue.
"With seven consecutive quarters of profitability, Iridium is in a strong position to move forward with its next generation constellation and service plans," said Matt Desch, who was appointed as Chairman and CEO of Iridium Satellite LLC in September. "We're running the world's largest commercial mobile satellite communications network, and providing the highest quality and most reliable voice and data communications service in the industry. Since independent studies indicate we can expect full network operations into the next decade, we have ample time to ensure a smooth transition to our next generation constellation."
Iridium is working with leading innovators inside and outside the industry to design a new constellation that will be an IP-based, end-to-end system. It will maintain the security and global coverage customers count on today, while increasing the bandwidth available to users, supporting multiple devices, and driving down costs. Iridium is planning its new network to be operational until at least 2030, providing new offerings such as portable and fixed broadband communications, and wide area broadcast services. The new system will be backward compatible with its current services.
"At the same time, we're investing in our current constellation to develop capabilities in ways never thought possible," Desch said. "We're developing new services and working with partners to foster many new Iridium applications."
Third Quarter Highlights
Iridium cited the following previously announced highlights in the third quarter:
Growth In Data Business
Demand for Iridium data services increased 44 percent over the same period last year. In the first quarter of this year, Iridium began delivering its new, lower-cost satellite data modem, the 9601 Short-Burst Data (SBD) transceiver. The company designed the 9601 to optimize two-way data links.
"Many Iridium customers are realizing that the compact size and low latency of the 9601 make it the industry's most ideal solution for small package, time-sensitive data communications applications," Desch said. "We're way ahead of plan in delivering 9601 units for applications in supply chain management, field force automation and remote asset tracking. High demand is coming from markets such as heavy equipment, homeland security, supply chain logistics, maritime, automotive, industrial equipment, trucking, railroads, oil and gas, utilities and government. I continue to be impressed by the way our exceptional partner base has broadened awareness in the market about the critical, embedded data communications needs only Iridium can address," Desch added.
For example, in the third quarter, Euro Telematik, a manufacturer of fleet tracking and communications solutions, completed its first installation of an Iridium-based aircraft tracking and communication system for the Luxembourg Air Rescue (LAR) service. Also, in conjunction with service provider Marlink, Iridium provided two-way data communications via a buoy-based system that measures ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean to help researchers detect climate change in high latitudes. This is an excellent example of Iridium's ability to provide remote telemetry, with very low latency, in places beyond the reach of other satellite communication networks.
Iridium opened a new satellite ground station in Fairbanks, Alaska with three Iridium earth terminals. The company has plans to add five more earth terminals before year-end 2007. Iridium officially opened this new telemetry, tracking and command/control (TTAC) station for additional layers of network visibility, redundancy, flexibility and reliability. It adds command and control capabilities, and provides remote access to satellites from Iridium's existing gateways. This new ground station is facilitating Iridium's goal of having the highest level of redundancy and flexibility in providing voice and data services to Alaska and to the rest of the world.
Conversions To Iridium On The High Seas
Wilson Ship Management announced this quarter that it outfitted its fleet of more than 45 ships with Iridium terminals in a move to provide a cost- effective integrated Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) and e-mail solution. Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd. equipped its fleet of 132 ships with an Iridium- based e-mail system. And, the United Kingdom's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) equipped its newly formed firefighting teams with Iridium satellite phones for reliable communications when responding to fires on ships in U.K. coastal waters.
Military, Government and Healthcare First Responders Saving Lives
Iridium and Raytheon's JPS Communications announced an initiative to provide first responders a fully interoperable communications service for use in disasters. The effort gives customers access to Iridium services packaged with the JPS ACU product line, including the ACU-1000, which can interconnect up to 24 communications devices at one time. Interconnected devices can include those based on satellite communications, radio, cellular and land- based networks. First responders can now use Iridium and the ACU to keep connected no matter how badly natural or manmade disaster affects a surrounding area or telecommunications infrastructure. Also, Iridium service provider AirCell, Inc., in conjunction with MedAire, Inc., launched a service that offers in-flight, on-demand medical assistance from ground-based health experts through the Iridium satellite network.
Iridium enhanced its leadership team and financial strategy in the third quarter, as well. Matt Desch joined in September as Chairman and CEO. Desch was most recently CEO of New Jersey-based Telcordia Technologies, Inc. and has spent the last 15 years in the mobile communications industry. Alvin B. ("Buzzy") Krongard joined the Iridium Board of Directors. Krongard is the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Alex.Brown Incorporated, and served with U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) first as Counselor to the Director, and then as Executive Director. The company also announced the completion of $210 million senior secured credit facilities to repay existing credit facilities, provide cash collateral for a letter of credit, return capital to the company's equity investors, and general corporate purposes.
About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC (http://www.iridium.com/) is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and Polar Regions). Iridium delivers essential communications services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. The Iridium constellation consists of 66 low earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites and has multiple in-orbit spares. The constellation operates as a fully meshed network and is the largest commercial satellite constellation in the world. The Iridium service is ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities. Iridium provides service to the U.S. DoD. The company also designs, builds and sells its services, products and solutions through a worldwide network of more than 100 partners.
Tom Ridge, Former Homeland Security Chief, Joins Iridium
On June 30, 2006, Iridium Satellite announced that Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security and two-term Pennsylvania Governor, joined the Company's Board of Directors. The company highlighted that "Secretary Ridge brings a deep knowledge of homeland security from both the national perspective as the first Secretary of Homeland Security, but also from the state and local levels as Pennsylvania Governor presiding over state port facilities, airports and some of the largest cities in the country."
The ongoing perception of Iridium's business proposition was that the company's fortunes were largely tied to government contracts, and the USG as anchor tenant has not only ensured survival but has in fact made Iridium financially buoyant. For its part, Iridium has broadened its target market to include businesses around the globe for the provision of communications services where none exist, as well as improve preparedness and response for disaster scenarios.
What: As Mark Twain once said, The rumor of my demise has been greatly exaggerated. Case in point: Iridium. One year after it purchased the assets of the bankrupt Iridium LLC, Iridium Satellite LLC is seeking to clear up lingering confusion about the ownership and operation of the satellite network, as well as its relationship with the predecessor company. In particular, Iridium Satellite LLC reiterates that it is an entirely new company, founded in December 2000 by a group of private investors formed to purchase the assets of the bankrupt company.To set the record straight:
- Iridium Satellite LLC is in no way, shape or form associated with the former company, nor is it a party to any legal issues involving Motorola or shareholders. Iridium Satellite LLC operates at 10 percent of the former companys costs; in fact, it provides higher quality and more affordable voice, paging and remote data services globally with 85 percent fewer employees. Iridium Satellite LLC, operator of the worlds largest commercial satellite network, targets industrial, government and individual customers with a clear need for remote communications capabilities where no other form of communication is available.
- Iridium Satellite LLC continues to operate the constellation of 66 satellites plus spares, and predicts, through an independent study and its own estimates, that the satellite network will remain viable until at least 2010.
One Year of Milestones for Iridium Satellite LLC:
- Signs $72 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense: December 2000. Forges agreement with The Boeing Company to operate the satellite constellation: December 2000. Launches commercial service: March 2001. Names Gino Picasso as CEO: April 2001. Launches data services: June 2001.
- Submits proposal to Federal Aviation Administration for monitoring of cockpit communications: October 2001
In December 2000, Iridium Satellite LLC acquired the operating assets of Iridium LLC including the satellite constellation, the terrestrial network, Iridium real property and intellectual capital. Headed by aviation industry veteran Dan Colussy, and funded by a group of private investors, Iridium Satellite LLC has essentially no debt and monthly operating charges that are one-tenth the cost of the previous Iridium. Through its own gateway in Hawaii, the U.S. Department of Defense relies on Iridium for global communications capabilities. STATEMENT FROM IRIDIUM SATELLITE LLC
Posted: November 15, 2000
Iridium Satellite LLC today (November 15) released the following statement: The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York today approved the bid of Iridium Satellite LLC to purchase the operating assets of Iridium LLC and its subsidiaries. Under the agreement, Iridium Satellite LLC will purchase all of the existing assets of Iridium LLC, including the satellite constellation, the terrestrial network, Iridium real property and intellectual property owned by Iridium LLC. Iridium Satellite LLC will continue to provide commercial satellite communications to the U.S. government and plans to re-launch affordable satellite communications services to those industry segments that have a particular need for satellite communications (government, military, humanitarian, heavy industry, maritime, aviation, adventure) within 60 days. The Chairman of Iridium Satellite is Dan Colussy, a veteran of the aviation industry. Colussy's previous senior leadership positions include Chairman, President and CEO of UNC; Chairman, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific Airlines and President and COO of Pan American World Airways. Iridium Satellite LLC has contracted with the Boeing Company to operate and maintain the satellite constellation.
Motorola has agreed to continue to provide subscriber equipment on commercially acceptable terms.
Old Iridium Timeline
1987 - IRIDIUM system concept proposed by Motorola engineers; research and development begin
1990 - IRIDIUM system announced at four simultaneous press conferences in Beijing, London, Melbourne and New York. Motorola file for application with US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
1991 - Iridium, Inc. formed.
1992 - World Administrative Radio Conference, Global Mobile Satellite Service Allocation, 1610 - 1626.5 MHz; 2483.5 -2500 MHz. Experimental license granted by FCC for IRIDIUM system; Iridium, Inc. signs $3.37 billion contract with Motorola for system development, construction and delivery; Motorola becomes Prime Contractor.
1993 - Company announces completion of its first round of financing, successfully raising US$800 million in equity. First meeting of Board of Directors.
1994 - Second round equity financing completed, total raised US$1.6 billion. FCC issues Report and Order granting waiver to allow Motorola to procure long-lead headware for system construction.
1995 - FCC grants operational license for the IRIDIUM system.
1996 - $300 million additional investor funding raised, bringing total project support to $1.9 billion. Delivery of first IRIDIUM satellite.
1998 - Went live on November 1st. Full commercial service was available on November 17th, despite several failures. The subscriber growth stalled because of shortage of handsets.
User frequency: 1616 to 1.6265 GHzFeeder uplink freq. 29.1 to 29.3 GHz.Feeder downlink freq. 19.4 to 19.6 GhzIntersatellite crosslinks freq. 23.18 to 23.38 GHz.
- Voice: 2.4 kbit/s; data 2.4 kbit/s
Shareholders and Strategic Partners:
Motorola, Nippon Iridium Corp., Verbacom GmbH, Sprint, BCD Mobile Communications Inc., STET, DDI, UCOM, SK Telecom Corp., PT Bakrie Communications Corp., Raytheon, Bouygues.
IPO 1997. US Military, Iridium's first major customer, placed a $14.5 million order for a gateway to the network. Iridium have reached distribution agreements with 209 regional wireless service providers. Currently the price of $3000 per handset, and tarrifs as high as $9 per minute are severely restricting the growth of this project. Serious problems are seen ahead, including major refinancing of the massive debt load. The project was expected to cost $4.4 billion but an additional $1 -2 billion will now be needed. Many consider the marketing effort to be sadly lacking.Iridium 1401 H Street, NW # 800 Washington, D.C. 20005
Web page: http://www.iridium.com