Iridium Discussing Potential India Comm Venture; Matt Desch Comments

Matt Desch
Matt Desch

Iridium Communications has started negotiating with telecommunications companies Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. and MTNL to build a new satellite communications gateway in India.

Iridium plans to invest around $50 million to deploy its services for that satellite system, intended to replace 66 low-orbit satellites currently in use worldwide, the Business Standard reported Monday.

“We hope to finalise our partners in India within a month and then apply for licence,” Matt Desch, Iridium CEO, told the Business Standard.

“We aim to set up the gateway by the middle of 2014 for $25 million,” he added.

Surajeet Das Gupta and Sounak Mitra write the company is talking with public and private companies in the country to float Iridium India, in which Iridium would hold a 49 percent share under the country’s foreign direct investment policy.

Iridium currently has about 300 global technology partners that have placed orders for satellite communications, according to the report.

The company plans to focus on the public safety, defense, energy, forestry and aviation sectors in India, among others, the report said.

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