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Iridium Reaches 500,000 Billable Subscribers Worldwide

Iridium Communications Inc. today announced it has reached 500,000 total billable subscribers for its satellite voice and data services worldwide, a number comprised of approximately 90 percent commercial customers and 10 percent U.S. Government customers.

Iridium CEO Matt Desch partly attributes the dramatic subscriber growth to the emerging machine-to-machine, or M2M, data market. The company’s second-quarter 2011 earnings showed that M2M data subscribers now represent 32 percent of billable commercial subscribers and 21 percent of billable government subscribers.

“Our consistent double-digit growth in subscribers — more than 25 percent growth every year for the last five years — is a reflection of our global network reach, our service offerings enabling important connections, and our expanding partner ecosystem,” Desch said. “This milestone demonstrates how far we’ve evolved over the last 10 years from a supplier of mobile satellite phones for niche markets into a global communications company connecting anyone and anything, all over the world, in ways and places in which they expect to be connected.”

Desch added that Iridium NEXT, the company’s next-generation network, will bring even more capabilities and capacity for the company’s growing customer base, saying, “There is a tremendous potential for continued growth in mobile satellite connections around the world as terrestrial wireless networks cover less than 10 percent of the Earth’s surface. We do a great job connecting the remaining 90 percent.”

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