Iridium gains Asia-Pac traction

Iridium Satellite has clinched deals with three Asia-Pacific telcos in a move the company claims reflects rising demand for its remote communications franchise.

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By  Richard Brown Published  June 25, 2002

The contracts with Singapore Telecommunications, Telstra and Telikom Papua New Guinea are intended to raise Iridium's global voice and data services to government, industrial and individual users in the Asia Pacific region. The companies will sell Iridium services through their global dealer networks to complement their own satellite-based services.

Gino Picasso, CEO of Iridium Satellite, remarks “The interest level by the international telecommunications community clearly validates our business plan.” Part of Iridium’s sales pitch includes the fact that 86 percent of the world's landmass and oceans are not covered by terrestrial wireless services.

These latest contracts follow recently-announced agreements with Telenor Satellite Services, France Telecom Mobile Satellite Services and Xantic in Europe.

Boeing-owned Iridium Satellite acquired the assets of bankrupt Iridium LLC in December 2000. In February this year, Iridium launched five spare satellites to back up its existing 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. The company launched two extra in-orbit satellites on June 20.

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