Motorola's Phone Satellites Are In A Wobbly Orbit

Motorola Inc. has turned to politics to promote Iridium Inc., its so-far wholly owned subsidiary. Iridium has a $3.1 billion plan to launch 77 low-flying communications satellites that would let people make wireless phone calls between any points on the globe. Iridium has been wooing the International Maritime Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) as a partner, but Inmarsat refuses to commit. In fact, Inmarsat is investigating the possibility of starting its own competing phone service to complement a satellite communication system it already operates for ships and airplanes.

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