Spirit of Iridium

Spirit of Iridium

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1. Russia to buy into Iridium communications system

Evgeniya Chaykovskaya

US satellites could help far-flung Russians talk to each other - but some fear national security could be compromised.

Phoning family in far-flung regions could be going global, amid reports that an advisory panel is set to recommend Russia signs up to an American satellite system to improve communications in the far north.

An analytical note seen by RBC Daily says of the four available services - including Russia’s own Gonets - Iridium is the only system with full coverage of the country, including the Arctic and the northern seaways.

Iridium’s network of 66 satellites makes it the largest of its type - but its rumoured connections with the Pentagon have alarmed some in Russia.

Yury Zaitsev, acting academic advisor to the Academy of Engineering Science, warned RBC Daily that all info on Iridium goes through a control centre in the USA - potentially giving them access to strategically important data from some of Russia’s most remote and unprotected border regions.

These distant settlements rely on satellites for phone and internet services because the population is too small and landline or mobile links are too expensive to set up.

The most likely clients are oil and energy companies and ship owners, and Iridium is apparently ready to open a gateway to Russia. But they would have to pass 51 per cent of its local subsidiary into Russian control.

One year ago there were also discussions about using Iridium in Russia, but no deal was reached. At the moment thousands of subscribers are using the service even though it is illegal.

source: moscow times

2. one year ago: cryptogon report on Iridium, a network apparently used for intelligence ops:

So, an Iridium satellite just happened to collide with a defunct Russian military satellite…

You’re about to learn how the sausage gets made, and, before we begin, you should know that it’s not pretty.

I don’t know the whole story about Iridium, but it has got to be one of the spookiest tales of them all.

In November 1998, Motorola activated the Iridium communications network, a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites that provides wireless telecom and data services to any location on the planet. The cost to build the system? About $5 billion. By August 1999, unable to sign up enough customers—because of extremely high handset costs and per minute usage fees—Iridium was facing bankruptcy.

(If you know of a more complete account of what happened next, please let me know about it.)

Iridium executive Dan Colussy put together a group of “private investors” to buy the Iridium system.

According to Iridium:

In December 2000, a group of private investors led by Dan Colussy organized Iridium Satellite LLC. Iridium Satellite LLC acquired the operating assets of the bankrupt Iridium LLC including the satellite constellation, the terrestrial network, Iridium real property and intellectual capital.

How much did this group of private investors pay for the system that cost about $5 billion to build?

$25 million. That’s a discount of about 99.5% off the build cost.

Who were those private investors who just happened to be at the right place at the right time? I’ll be buggered if I know, but someone, somewhere probably knows.

But guess what happened next.

…..snip….to DOD press release from 2000:

Since the Navy has a requirement more than twice as large as the current capability, the Department of Defense needs the capacity Iridium uniquely offers small unit operations in areas without satellite constellation coverage or during periods when various assets are being used in other contingencies. Special Forces operations, combat search and rescue activities and polar communications will also be enhanced. Iridium will provide a unique resource to enhance DoD mobile satellite communications requirements.

keep going….it gets much worse…..:

In an odd twist, the new Iridium is 24% owned by an investment firm controlled by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman of Saudi Arabia.

The prince used to own a minority chunk of the old Iridium in partnership with the Saudi Binladen Group, the company run by Osama bin Laden’s family.

read more @ cryptogon

3. links to 911

Hot spots in Ground Zero debris piles contain widely-distributed pools of molten steel, at least 500 degrees Farenheit hotter than the maximum temperature of fires fueled by diesel or kerosene hydrocarbons, and thereby prove that agents, acting for Iridium 66, demolished the WTC towers through remotely-controlled ignitition of thermite bombs containing atomized aluminum powder.

Participants in the bogus Global Guardian war game of 9/11 used Iridium 66 satellites with encrypted Motorola radios.

The Iridium-Motorola equipment supports commanders of the only global communications network capable of remotely piloting aircraft (RPA) into targets on 9/11 and the remote controlled ignition of pre-positioned incendiaries in the planes and the towers of Ground Zero.

The apparently mobbed-up clean-up and cover-up crews who arrived on Ground Zero immediately after 9/11, came equipped with Iridium 66 and encrypted Motorola radios, the only communications network to survive the destruction at Ground Zero and the Pentagon’s U.S. Naval Command Center.

more here

4. early strategic investors,  found here: http://www.alamo-girl.com/0304.htm

The Iridium system is backed by nineteen strategic investors from around the world. Seventeen of the investor partners also participate in the operation and maintenance of 12 ground station “gateways” that link the Iridium system to the public switched telephone networks:

Iridium Africa Corporation Iridium Africa is associated with Mawarid Overseas Company Limited.
Iridium Andes-Caribe is a consortium of private Venezuelan investors
Iridium Brasil is a diversified Brazilian corporation
Iridium Middle East Corporation is owned by Mawarid Overseas Company Limited (see Iridium Africa), and Triniford Investments S.A., which is affiliated with the Saudi Binladin Group. Binladin is among the largest industrial groups in Saudi Arabia.
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center A leading aerospace engineering and manufacturing company in the Russian Federation
Lockheed Martin Corporation A world leader in defense and space systems technology
Iridium Canada, Inc. BCE Mobile Communications, Inc. and BCE Telecom International, Inc. - both of which are affiliated with BCE Inc., Canada’s largest telecommunications company
Iridium China (Hong Kong) Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aerospace, a major diversified industrial group in China and also the parent company of China Great Wall Industries Corporation.
Iridium India Telecom Limited is a consortium of Indian financial institutions that initially invested in Iridium LLC through infrastructure Leasing & Financing Services, Ltd..
Iridium italia S.P.A. is an affiliate of Telecom Italia,
Raytheon Company is one of the world’s leading companies in the conception, development, manufacture, and sale of electronic systems, equipment, and components for government and commercial use.
SK Telecom Affiliated with Korea Telecommunications Corporation
South Pacific Iridium Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of PT Bakrie & Brothers, an Indonesia-based diversified holding company.
Sprint Iridium, Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sprint Corporation, which is a diversified telecommunications company.
Thai Satellite Telecommunications Co., Ltd. is affiliated with United Communications Industry Co., Ltd., which is the second-largest cellular telecommunications provider in Thailand
Motorola, Inc. is one of the world’s leading providers of wireless communications and electronic equipment, systems, components, and services.
Nippon Iridium (Bermuda) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nippon Iridium Corporation, which is a consortium formed in Bermuda by DDI Corporation
o.tel.o A subsidiary of VEBA AG and RWE AG, two of the largest corporations in Germany
Pacific Iridium Telecommunications Corporation (PITC) is a subsidiary of Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co., Ltd., a diversified international corporation.

Repeat: Iridium Middle East Corporation is owned by Mawarid Overseas Company Limited (see Iridium Africa), and Triniford Investments S.A., which is affiliated with the Saudi Binladin Group. Binladin is among the largest industrial groups in Saudi Arabia

8/13/99 Ilaina Jonas Reuters “…Stocks of two of the three leading satellite telephone companies plummeted Thursday under the weight of major financing woes that cloud their future. Shares of Iridium World Communications LLC dropped more than 28 percent, or 1-11/16, to bottom out at an all-time low of 4-1/4 on the day after the struggling operator of a $5 billion satellite network defaulted on $1.5 billion in loans. The plunge landed the stock — which 15 months ago was trading at a lofty 72-3/8 — as the No. 1 percentage loser on the Nasdaq market Thursday….. Late Wednesday Washington, D.C.-based Iridium said it had defaulted on a $800 million loan and another $750 million loan after it failed to meet customer and revenue growth targets required under the larger of the two loans. Iridium, London-based ICO and Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd (Nasdaq:GSTRF - news)., an international group led by Loral Space & Communications Ltd (NYSE:LOR - news)., are scrambling to launch hand-held satellite phone services to allow customers to stay in touch any time from anyplace on the globe. Shares of Globalstar closed down 1/4 to 28. Iridium, the only company to launch service so far, has repeatedly stumbled, and its principal backer, telecommunications equipment maker Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT - news), has raised the possibility that it may have to liquidate….“At this time, banks may feel that Iridium’s future is significantly enhanced by a restructuring that includes a significant Motorola cash infusion,” C.E. Unterberg analyst William Kidd wrote in a research report. But Kidd warned an Iridium bankruptcy “may be awfully close.” ….”

lots at that site.