Feeds

Motorola dodges $4bn damages

Orbital sword of Damocles sheathed

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Motorola has settled claims outstanding from the company's involvement in the ill-fated Iridium satellite phone system, ending up having to pay nothing despite creditors' attempts to squeeze $4bn out of the beleaguered technology company.

Iridium was and is a mobile phone system based on connecting handsets direct to satellites, and was one of a few systems announced with great fanfare in the late 90s to provide connectivity anywhere in the world.

The problem is that launching satellites is very, very, expensive, and it takes a long time. This means that calls over satellite are also expensive - as those planning to use in-flight mobiles will soon discover. Also, satellite technology is always slightly old by the time it's in use, so ground-based systems can offer faster speeds based on newer technology.

That combination led to insufficient customers, and bankruptcy in 1999 after less than a year in operation. The assets were then snapped up on the cheap, the system is still operational and used by those people who find coverage more important than cost - as evidenced by the Iridium Flare - reflections from the satellites visible to the naked eye.

Motorola's dispute harks back to that bankruptcy, with creditors accusing the company of "voidable preference, fraudulent conveyance, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty" and claiming the aforementioned whacking great sum in damages.

Escaping such a hefty payout must have brought out the little plastic cups of cava at Motorola - it could certainly do with a bit of good news these days. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.