Matt Desch: Iridium’s Broadband Service Could Complement LEO Constellations

Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications, has said he observed new low-Earth orbit satellites work to support broadband services that the company already offers along with very small aperture terminals, SpaceNews reported Thursday.

Desch told investors in an earnings call held Thursday he believes LEO constellation operators do not pose a significant threat to Iridium’s business.

“This is not the market we play in today and I consider the specialty broadband services we are soon introducing as complementary to their plans, not competitive with them,” added Desch, a 2018 Wash100 recipient.

Iridium expects its global Certus broadband communications platform to begin commercial service in the second quarter of this year.

Certus is designed to provide L-band connectivity through the company’s NEXT satellite constellation.

Desch said Iridium aims to commence operation of its fifth batch of 10 satellites, which launched March 30 aboard a SpaceX-built Falcon 9 rocket, in the coming weeks.

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