Iridium scraps $5 billion satellite system

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Iridium scraps $5 billion satellite system

Iridium, the world’s first satellite-based phone system firm, is shutting down operations after less than two years.

Service to Iridium’s 55,000 subscribers was cut off Friday at midnight.

Analysts blame the company’s failure on poor marketing and a service that was far too costly, particularly as cellular phone coverage and costs improved worldwide.

Parent company Motorola will maintain Iridium’s $5 billion system of 66 satellites until the company can finalize plans to bump the costly equipment out of orbit.

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