Iridium continues to be a high risk for any type of future investment. If you are looking for continued growth, and reasonable return, or some sort of long term growth, look elsewhere. You are wasting your money on slot machines. IRDM is very late on their milestones, and cost continue to climb. The military will no longer need the bandwidth or subs they were leasing and are not funding the old constellation anymore. As cellular and other ways of communicating continue to spread throughout the world, and Satcom at sea is becoming cheaper with Ka/KU and Inmarsat product improvements, there is no need for low speed data devices (at least not on a NEXT scale). Iridium will always be a low rate service provider of low speed data. You really have to have a strong need to use their phone (or M2M devices), and pay a premium price for it too. How many subscribers in the world really support that level of need? As the subject is stated... Numbers...both financial, cost to build, cost to launch, cost to sustain, cost of marketing, cost for highly paid overhead/staff, cost, cost, cost plus... and no growth revenue. Look elsewhere for future investment.
Sentiment: Strong Sell
While I will refrain from commenting on the "bitterness" battle, I do have some thoughts on the recently announced launch changes.
First of all, it is important to remember that NEXT is still early in development - Preliminary Design Review stage. Lots of changes can be made and given the large number of satellites here, a change in structure from earlier constellations is entirely reasonable if it makes sense for the launcher. It is also quite possible that the lack of many externally developed hosted payloads made it possible to lighten/tighten the satellites so that 10 could be boosted on the same lifter (the recently announced Aerion AIS payload is pretty simple compared to some sensors, etc. that might have been proposed by governments).
Second, orbital mechanics makes it easiest for a single launch to fill a single plane. There are six planes of 11 active sats in Iridium (and from their filings the same for NEXT). Eight launches of 9 doesn't fit this terribly well but seven launches of 10 does. This way, Iridium can nearly fill the planes with the first six launches and keep an option on the 7th as a spare to fill in for launch failure. The remaining active satellite and spare can be launched on the Kosmotras contracts (6 launches x 2 sats) with the remaining Kosmotras options available to fill in for any spot failures of satellites on-orbit. Sounds like a practical and efficient way to design the launch campaign. Without a lot of external government hosted payload funds, cost control is even more critical. Good news is that lack of external payloads greatly simplifies integration and eliminates delivery delays outside Iridium's control.
As to the lifetime - in my experience Aerospace does good work but predicting lifetimes for satellites is like that for people - you can look at general health but it isn't exact. The longer you go without a problem, the more confidence you get that next year will be just like the last. Since we don't have a copy of the report, we don't know the failure modes thus far or what criteria was used to define a healthy constellation. We do know, based on recent filings, that Iridium/Boeing continue to move sats around to keep the current system patched well beyond its normal lifetime. Here's hoping that the system holds together a while longer.
"Allow me to summarize your deepest analysis here to date:
"I know you are but what am I?""
Really... IS all of this "Personal Bitterness" really necessary¿
Remember, don't make it personal, and DON"T BE BITTER!
And so it goes,
<You're totally conjecturing about the Falcon v1.1 - why would SpaceX agree to change their original contract from 8 satellites to 7 if they didn't believe they could launch 10 at a time??>
Well, they said they could launch 9 satellites on a Falcon 9, which it turned out was not possible. So they proposed a modified version that in theory can do it.
The reason you change the original contract from 8 to 7 is the increased cost. So suddenly if you announce that our launch costs will now be another 65MM higher do to misconceptions of the Falcon 9's lift from the beginning. The market begins to doubt managements handle on the project.
<And I asked someone who knows at SpaceX, who told me the fairing is being designed to hold 5 satellites over 5 satellites. I love how you just make stuff up about "2x2, 2x4 etc" - you really are full of s#!+.>
I don't think that is right. The satellites honeycomb design is designed such that four satellites are placed on the dispenser and almost interlock. Iridium is using the same basic bucket as the Globalstar design, so is O3B.
Here is a photo of Globalstar satellites on the dispenser
You will notice the 4x1 2x1 formation on the dispenser. The original Iridium plan for 9 satellites was 4x1, 4x1, 1 Horizontal. This single satellites was placed on the top of the stack horizontally, because it allowed everything under the faring. So the circumference of the faring would grow substantially to provide the ability to cover the satellites in a 5x1, 5x1 format you suggest. The circumference of the launcher v1.1 is not any larger, as its size is constrained for highway transportation. So to accommodate this 5x1, 5x1 configuration, the circumference of the faring would be considerably larger. I have seen no documentation supporting a faring of this scope.
<but you don't know SQUAT about Iridium.>
That is your opinion...
<as you love to say, you're just so BITTER>
No Bitterness here... I just understand how these things slip and slip and slip.
Heck, Even Iridium is already 2 years behind.
"Based on analysis, industry feedback and progress to date, Iridium expects the 2013 launch date to be very achievable."
Now we have...
Iridium NEXT Constellation Passes Critical Milestones; On Schedule for Planned Launch in 2015
Not sure what happened to the old plan? But, I guess everything is on schedule for the New Plan.. One thing you can always count on in the satellite industry. Lots and lots of "New Plans"
And so it goes,
Just love cranking you up - as you love to say, you're just so BITTER
Anyway, I just love how you're so sure of yourself, and you spout nonsense like you're some kind of expert. You seem to know a lot about GSAT - good luck with that expertise, but you don't know SQUAT about Iridium.
You're totally conjecturing about the Falcon v1.1 - why would SpaceX agree to change their original contract from 8 satellites to 7 if they didn't believe they could launch 10 at a time? Don't know if you've noticed, but they seem to be doing pretty well for a new rocket manufacturer. Every satellite company has backup plans, and a well managed company like Iridium probably has a backup to their backup - so far, it looks like they're managing this a heck of a lot better than your beloved GSAT.
And I asked someone who knows at SpaceX, who told me the fairing is being designed to hold 5 satellites over 5 satellites. I love how you just make stuff up about "2x2, 2x4 etc" - you really are full of s#!+.
And to your previous post about the life of the constellation that this isn't "New News" - you're the one that posts that you didn't even believe they'd make 2014. It makes total sense that the accountants would initially and conservatively plan depreciation through 2014, and then have to adjust to later after the Aerospace consultants adjust their report to account that nothing bad has happened to their constellation in the last two years since the credit facility was created. Since you know so much about satellites, you know projections of ultimate satellite life are all probability models, built around battery life models, fuel, radiation, etc. Obviously, the Iridium satellites keep blowing away Aerospace's probability models.
BITTER, BITTER, BITTER lol
"Iridium officials said on Dec 16th, the analysis was conducted on behalf of the institutions financing Iridium’s second generation constellation, called Iridium Next, They stress-tested components of the design on the ground using bursts of radiation to simulate what the satellite would be subjected to in orbit.
The analysis was conducted by Aerospace Corp which is a non-profit U.S. Air Force sponsored aerospace analysis center. This analysis was performed at the request of the bank consortium and the French export credit agency Coface. Coface is guaranteeing $1.8 billion in the financing of the Iridium Next project.
The analysis concluded that there were no electrical or mechanical issues until 2017. Iridium plans to start launching the Iridium Next constellation in 2015."
Not missing anything - just reaction to the call down slightly from analyst expectations. Still about 10% bottom line growth for the year, which ain't too shabby. Will probably take a short term beating, but lots to like on the commercial side and future.
I could only find a mention in their 10Q, under recent developments (i.e. yesterday) about having to offer a secondary with Preferred or Common in the amount of $7.00 and in the size of their unexercised warrants. (by April 2013) Something about their need to fund Aireon.
Other than that, I don't understand the sell off either.