Iridium Satellite LLC of Bethesda, MD announced that it had 183,000 subscribers worldwide as of March 31, 2007, a 23.6-percent increase over the company's 148,000 subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2006. The company had first-quarter revenue of $52.7 million and EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) of $13.6 million. Iridium had revenue of $212.4 million and EBITDA of $53.8 million for the full-year 2006.
Iridium chairman and CEO, Matt Desch, comments, "Iridium is off to an excellent start for 2007 in continuing our strong business growth. Our first-quarter performance puts the company on a pace to exceed our revenue and EBITDA targets for the year. Accordingly, we continue to be in a comfortable position to both self-fund and attract capital for the development of our next-generation constellation, ‘Iridium NEXT'."
Desch continues, "We are particularly pleased with the continued strong growth in two-way data services. Our 9601 short-burst data transceiver is achieving across-the-board market acceptance. For example, 9601 subscribers in the defense market are four times higher than we had forecast for the quarter. We're also seeing an excellent uptick in commercial markets such as maritime, aviation, and machine-to-machine (M2M)."
Desch concludes, "In addition to recording strong subscriber growth during the quarter, Iridium announced several significant network enhancements, including a new earth station in Norway and a new gateway in China to serve our global market for voice and data services. Also, having received third-party confirmation that we provide one of the most reliable services in our industry, we've seen notable subscriber churn away from competitors over to Iridium."
China Space Mobile Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (China Spacecom) announced that it is planning to open an Iridium gateway earth station. The gateway, which will be located in Beijing, will support Iridium voice and data services throughout China and could be operational by the end of 2007.
Iridium provides services to the US Department of Defense (DoD). For further information on Iridium, see their website at www.iridium.com