Matt Desch: Iridium to Enter 10-Year ‘Capex Holiday’ After Final NEXT Satellite Launch

Matt Desch

Iridium Communications CEO Matt Desch has said he expects the company to start a “capex holiday” over a 10-year period once it completes the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, SpaceNews reported Monday.

“I know the history of other satellite operators regarding capex holidays isn’t so good, but our motivations are very different,” Desch, a four-time Wash100 recipient, told investors during the company’s earnings call on July 31.

“Our network is very flexible, and our new satellites have been designed to support the growth and market opportunities we see in the future.”

The seventh batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites lifted off on July 25 aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and Desch said those satellites will enter service during August and early September.

Iridium plans to complete the $3 billion satellite network this year and forecasts the final satellite launch to result in a reduction to its spending valued at approximately $35 million per year.

The McLean, Va.-based satellite communications firm posted approximately $135 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2018, up 21 percent from the same period last year.

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