Iridium Announces Completion of ‘NEXT’ Satellite Network; Matt Desch Quoted

Iridium Communications on Wednesday declared the completion of the $3B Iridium NEXT satellite constellation at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"The completion of the Iridium NEXT program signifies a new chapter in the Iridium story, one that sees us transforming from a big cash spender to a big cash generator," Iridium CEO Matt Desch said in a statement published Wednesday.

Desch, a 2019 Wash100 winner, also acknowledged satellite maker Thales Alenia Space and launch services provider SpaceX at the event.

Iridium activated the final two satellites on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to complete the network upgrade. The company’s final and eighth batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites launched Jan. 11 aboard SpaceX’s previously flown Falcon 9 rocket.

In January, the company unveiled its Iridium Certus L-band broadband service powered by the Iridium NEXT network, which features 66 new satellites.

The McLean, Va.-based satellite communications company also introduced its Iridium Certus 9770 small-form-factor transceiver designed to provide internet access, emails, voice calls, pictures and telemetry.

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