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January 27, 1998

IRIDIUM WINS $14.5M US MILITARY CONTRACT

By CBR Staff Writer

The $5bn global mobile phone satellite venture, Iridium LLC, sponsored by Motorola Inc, has announced the signing of its first big customer, the US government, which is paying $14.5m for the use of Iridium’s network. The US military has bought a high capacity ground station-based connection onto the system, that is due to start service in September. The military will add a further level of encryption on top of the standard security, as a lower cost alternative to building a similar military network of communications satellites. It will also buy an unspecified number of $3,000 communications handsets, manufactured by Motorola and Kyocera Corp of Japan, and plans to have 120,000 users of the network.

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