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Iridium Pilot Raises the Bar for Affordable Broadband Maritime Communications

Feb 9, 2012

Powered by the Iridium OpenPort® Service, Iridium Pilot Broadband Platform Offers Reliable, High-Quality Communications Via the World’s Furthest-Reaching Network

MCLEAN, Va. – February 9, 2012 – Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) announces the launch of its second-generation maritime broadband platform, Iridium Pilot.  Iridium Pilot will utilize the Iridium OpenPort® service -- the world’s first when it comes to fully global maritime broadband. 

Iridium Pilot is engineered for enhanced durability to withstand the harshest maritime conditions, all the while packaged in a small, lightweight antenna.  It has a fixed, electronically-steerable, phased-array antenna, designed to maintain connectivity in rough seas.  Iridium Pilot offers broadband connectivity in addition to three independent phone lines, all of which work simultaneously, with data speeds up to 134 kbps.  The platform offers a suite of new capabilities for vessel telecommunications optimization.  These capabilities include a built-in firewall for traffic management and a bulk configuration capability to assist in efficiently managing large volumes of units.  Its small form factor, enhanced capabilities and flexible service packages make Iridium Pilot an optimal solution for vessels large and small.  In addition, Iridium Pilot maintains the best service program in the industry, the Iridium Global Service Program, and the industry’s only standard five-year limited warranty.

“We currently see a rapid migration from legacy narrowband services to new generation broadband solutions in the maritime satellite communications market,” said Richard Roithner, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult. “MSS broadband solutions, in particular those positioned in the lower price ranges, have seen significant growth over the last two years increasing at around 120 percent per year.  Euroconsult projects growth to continue in the coming years as these systems provide an attractive value proposition for low- and medium-end markets, including fishing, shipping and leisure vessels, to provide safety communications, enhance ship operations, improve crew welfare as well as provide complementary services for VSAT.  Our research has found that data rates of around 128kbps are sufficient for the majority of applications used onboard vessels today.”  

Iridium Pilot is the latest example of Iridium’s long-term commitment to investment and innovation focused on satisfying communications needs around the globe.  The company’s goal is to continually improve the customer experience in new and existing markets in the farthest reaches of the world now and into the future.   

“Importantly, Iridium Pilot will be compatible with Iridium’s next generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT,” said Joel Thompson, vice president, product management, Iridium.  “Iridium NEXT, scheduled for deployment starting in 2015, is the largest commercial space program underway today.  Ship operators installing Iridium Pilot can have the confidence that their equipment will be supported well beyond 2020.” 

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network – Iridium NEXT.  Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.  For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding growth in the maritime satellite communications market and the development and deployment of the Iridium NEXT system, including backward compatibility. Other forward-looking statements can be identified by the words “anticipates,” “may,” “can,” “believes,” “expects,” “projects,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “to be” and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding the expanding demand for mobile satellite solutions in the maritime market and the development of and transition to Iridium NEXT, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption “Risk Factors” in the company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 7, 2011, and in the company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, filed with the SEC on November 8, 2011. There is no assurance that Iridium’s expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium’s underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium’s forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.