Companies that operate both geostationary satellites and low Earth orbit constellations say they see opportunities to acquire complementary firms but cautioned that a long-projected consolidation of the industry isn’t likely in the near future.
Iridium Communications announced June 24 it received a U.S. Army contract to develop a payload that could be used to broadcast data such as timing or location signals.
Small launch vehicle developer Relativity Space has won a contract to launch six Iridium replacement satellites, which it plans to carry out from a new launch site it proposes to develop at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The coronavirus pandemic is making it harder for Iridium to line up customers for its recently upgraded satellite constellation, but isn’t expected to reverse the company’s six-year annual growth streak, according to CEO Matt Desch.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to approve a spectrum application from Ligado Networks that would allow the company to deploy a wireless communications service that the Pentagon says will drown out GPS signals.
Iridium Communications completed disposal of the last of its 65 working legacy satellites Dec. 28, while leaving open the possibility of paying an active-debris-removal company to deorbit 30 that failed in the decades since the operator deployed its first-generation constellation.
4.1 billion people online • Iridium completes $1.45 billion refinancing • SES exec to chair Space Data Association
An estimated 53.6% of the world’s population now has access to the internet, according to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union.
Singapore Technologies Engineering said Oct. 1 it completed its acquisition of Belgian ground infrastructure provider Newtec.
Iridium and OneWeb, two companies pursuing different types of telecommunications businesses from low Earth orbit, said Sept. 17 that they would work together on a combined service offering.
Iridium said Sept. 16 that the new seven-year, $738.5 million contract ensures continuity for voice, data, broadcast and other services to Defense Department and associated users.
Telstra-NBN combo ruled out • Aireon launches free emergency service • Globalstar buys IP from supplier
Australia’s competition watchdog agency ruled out the idea of Telstra buying the National Broadband Network.
The failure of at least five percent of the first batch of SpaceX Starlink satellites has put a spotlight on the growing concerns that satellite megaconstellations could litter low Earth orbit with hundreds of dead satellites.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said April 23 the company expects to finalize a multi-year renewal of its Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) contract with the Defense Department in the next 30 days.
Iridium makes GMDSS progress • Kepler’s next cubesat to test new radiator • Scisys breaks ground in Germany
Iridium moved closer to launching an emergency maritime communications service by signing a public services agreement with the International Mobile Satellite Organization.
Aircraft tracking company Aireon initiated service with its space-based sensor network April 2, starting global monitoring of aircraft location and velocity on a near real-time basis.
“For the first time since the initial launch of the system over 20 years ago, zero traffic is going through the old satellites,” Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium, said Feb. 6 at the National Press Club here.
Aireon said it signed the credit facility Dec. 21, and that it used the new funds to pay satellite operator Iridium $35 million before the end of 2018 for hosting its sensor payloads on the Iridium Next constellation.
Italian rocket builder Avio is borrowing 10 million euros from the European Investment Bank. The funds will support new space propulsion technologies for Europe’s next-generation Vega C and Ariane 6 launchers, the company said.