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Iridium boosts subs, revenues

February 21, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Satellite constellation Iridium has trimmed its quarterly loss to $5.9 million ($7.9 million a year ago, and $107.9 million back in 2019) helped by “the best subscriber growth in the company’s history” according to CEO Matt Desch.

Iridium is best described as the original pioneer in low Earth orbiting craft and has a secure 7-year contract with the US government, worth $738.5 million and in place since 2019.

Desch said: “Iridium had another strong year in 2021 on the back of the best subscriber growth in company history. We achieved this growth even in the face of supply chain issues, while continuing to expand our product portfolio.”

Revenue for Iridium’s full year was $614.5 million up 5 per cent with Q4 revenue of $155.9 million.

The satellite operator’s quarter ended with 1,723,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 1,476,000 for the end of 2020, and is up from 1,690,000 for the third quarter of 2021. “

Total billable subscribers grew 17 per cent year-over-year, driven by growth in commercial IoT,” said the company.

Besides the US military and government as customers its commercial service clients make up some two-thirds of Iridium’s total revenue. The company describes its commercial customer base as extremely diverse, including markets such as maritime, aviation, oil and gas, mining, recreation, forestry, construction, transportation and emergency services.

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