Iridium’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Narrowband IoT

Iridium Communications just set a new pace in a world where everyone is rushing to stay ahead of technological advancements. During the company’s recent investor day presentation, CEO Matt Desch unveiled a dazzling forecast—$1 billion in annual service revenue by 2030. But there’s more to this story than just impressive financials. It’s a narrative about evolution and opportunity in the ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

The Billion-Dollar forecast

Iridium has been on a revenue growth rampage in the past nine years, culminating in $721 million for 2022 alone. Desch says this trend has the potential to yield a staggering $3 billion in shareholder returns by the close of this decade.

Focused growth, no shortcuts

While some companies may look to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as a path to inflated revenue figures, Iridium chooses a more organic route. “We’re not interested in acquiring partners,” Desch declared, alluding to the inherent risks that M&A poses to the unique business models companies have carefully cultivated.

Narrowing the IoT gap

Iridium is keen on investing in narrowband IoT (NB IoT), with applications from agriculture to asset tracking. Compared to Iridium’s “premium IoT,” NB IoT promises low-cost end-user devices with high latency. This market has seen considerable consolidation and challenges—SpaceX’s acquisition of Swarm and subsequent withdrawal from IoT device sales, for example.

A network like no other

Desch is confident that the real gem is Iridium’s robust network infrastructure. “If we could implement 5G narrowband IoT directly on our network, that would be the most efficient way [into this market],” he noted. Should Iridium advance in this realm, its offering would stand as the “superior” choice due to its low latency and expansive partner ecosystem.

The road to 2030

Iridium has identified vital growth vectors to achieve its ambitious $1 billion revenue target, including IoT, direct-to-device communications, and partnerships with heavy equipment OEMs. With over 4 million IoT modules already on its network, Iridium’s most extensive growth prospect lies in IoT.