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Iridium CEO Matt Desch shows the evolution of satellite phones to chipsets. (Courtesy of Iridium Communications)

Public companies and financial services

Iridium Communications

Iridium is a communications company that relies on a network of 66 low-Earth orbiting satellites to deliver calls, weather reports, e-mail, and other data to some of the most remote locations on the planet. In 2011, the company picked up its 500,000th subscriber, and had 508,000 at the end of September, up from 413,000 a year earlier. The company has embarked on a strategy to begin to deliver calls not just to satellite phones, but to WiFi-enabled smartphones and other devices as well.

Trivia

The company's constellation of satellites is the world's largest commercial one.

1750 Tysons Blvd., Suite 1400

McLean Va., 22102

703-287-7400

http://www.iridium.com

Founded: 2009

CEO: Matthew J. Desch

Revenue: $348,170

Assets: $1,047,450

Employees (local): 198 (62)

NOTE: Our methodology for the rankings.