Iridium to supply Iraq with $4-5m in public phones

Iridium Satellite (Israel) will also market thousands of mobile phones.

Iridium Satellite (Israel) - Gaya Com is delivering hundreds of public telephones worth $4-5 million, to be installed in Iraq.

Iridium Satellite (Israel) CEO Ami Schneider told "Globes" that the order came through a Jordanian company. Iridium Satellite (Israel) will also market several thousand Iridium mobile telephones in Iraq. Iridium Satellite Solutions developed its public telephones in Israel.

Iridium Satellite Solutions revived Iridium Satellite (Israel) after redesigning its satellite network for civilian use. Iridium Satellite (Israel)'s owners include Iridium Satellite Solutions' regional operators in Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Eastern Europe, and East Africa, and a group of investors headed by Schneider.

Iridium Satellite (Israel) recently won a Kenya government tender to provide mobile satellite communications, and was the main communications provider for Kenya's 2002 elections and the November 2002 terrorist attacks in Mombasa. Schneider told "Globes" that the company was negotiating with five African governments to provide satellite communications.

Iridium Satellite Solutions provides a satellite communications network and telephones for voice and data communications, SMS, Internet, and e-mail between any locations in the world. The network comprises 66 satellites launched in 1997-98 to 780 km in low-earth orbit.

Iridium filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US in 1998. A group of investors bought the company a year later for a low sum and rehabilitated it.

Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Communications granted Iridium an operating license, and its telephones can now be bought and operated throughout Israel. Iridium Satellite (Israel) is the 131st company to receive an Iridium operating license in the world.

Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on August 3, 2003

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