Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium Communications and a 2019 Wash100 award recipient, told Bloomberg in an audio interview posted Tuesday about the company’s use of SpaceX-built rockets and the role of the private sector in space exploration.
He said SpaceX and other launch service providers have helped drive down the cost for a lot of satellite suppliers.
He also discussed the $3B Iridium NEXT satellite network and the company’s growth in the last 20 years. “Now that we have a brand new network, we’ve really seen a very steady and strong growth rate for the last 20 years we’ve been in operation, especially since we moved from voice communications to data transmission to internet of things,” Desch said.
Desch also fielded questions about 5G and Apple’s potential entry into the satellite business. He noted that Iridium could serve as a partner and help bridge services as other companies work on their own networks.