Iridium Reaps Spiking Numbers, Adds Adm. Blair To Board Of Directors

Using new price offerings and taking advantage of a competitor’s woes, Iridium Satellite LLC picked up 44,000 subscribers in the past 12 months, the company announced July 27. Iridium reported a total of 203,000 subscribers at the end of June, a 28 percent increase over the 159,000 subscribers the company reported at the end of June 2006.

Iridium posted revenues of $66.7 million in its 2007 second quarter, a 24 percent gain over revenues of $53.6 million in the same period a year ago.

“The second quarter was exceptionally strong for Iridium with solid double-digit gains in subscribers, revenue and [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization],” Matt Desch, Iridium chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Driving these results, among other factors, was across-the-board demand for our data services with notable recent upticks in the machine-to-machine and aeronautical markets,” plus a 56 percent spike in handset sales “as we pick up many customers switching to Iridium from competitors with serious network quality issues.”

In February, rival Globalstar said the performance of its satellite constellation is degrading and warned customers they may experience service problems.

Separately, Iridium announced that retired U.S. Navy Adm. Dennis Blair has joined the company’s board.

Blair served as commander in chief of U.S. Pacific Command from February 1999 to May 2002 and most recently was president of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a research and development center providing scientific, technical and analytical support to the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies.

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