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Fifth Successful Iridium® NEXT Launch Completed as Iridium Surpasses 1 Million Subscribers

MCLEAN, Va., March 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today that at 7:13:51 am PDT (14:13:51 UTC) SpaceX successfully launched the fifth set of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.  All 10 new satellites have successfully communicated with the Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center and are preparing to begin testing.  Shortly before launch, the Iridium network met a major milestone as it surpassed 1 million active subscribers. This continues a trend of significant growth and serves as a testament to the reliable, resilient and uncompromising nature of the Iridium network.

Paving the way for Iridium's growth is the Internet of Things (IoT), where Iridium has established itself as the satellite network of choice to keep "things" connected beyond the limits of cellular coverage.  More than half of the subscribers on the Iridium network are IoT devices, delivering a wide variety of solutions by hundreds of licensed technology partners. These devices are designed to do everything from tracking endangered species and monitoring power lines to controlling shipping container temperature levels or serving as tsunami warning systems. Further positioning the company for success is the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, which is now well more than half way completed. Once fully deployed later in 2018, the constellation will blanket the entire earth with its new capabilities like the Iridium CertusSM L-band broadband service and AireonSM global aircraft surveillance and tracking. 

"It's a unique coincidence that we passed the one million subscribers mark right at this launch, and it's particularly exciting because we've surpassed this milestone earlier than we had anticipated," said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. "The new satellites and services we're launching and continued strong subscriber growth are cementing our position as an industry leader and critical global communications platform and underscore the significant transformation we've undergone as a company over the last 10 years. This truly is a testament to the trust our partners and customers have in our network, which is only going to continue growing as the deployment of the Iridium NEXT constellation nears completion."

To date, Iridium has completed five launches of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, all with SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A total of eight Iridium NEXT launches are currently planned with SpaceX delivering a total of 75 new satellites to orbit. In total, 81 satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares.

The first stage booster for today's launch was previously flown during Iridium-3 in October 2017, making this the second Iridium NEXT launch to use a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket.  Each launch strategically delivers new satellites to specific orbital planes to ensure the earliest possible completion of the constellation. The Iridium network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational, crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 in the active constellation.  The 10 Iridium NEXT satellites launched today were successfully delivered to orbital plane one where they will replace first generation satellites over the next 30 days. 

Iridium NEXT is the company's $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT will replace the company's existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space.  It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely on to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more. 

For more information about Iridium Certus, please visit https://www.iridium.com/network/iridium-certus/

For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.IridiumNEXT.com

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 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. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding the timing for deployment, development and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation and services to be offered over the constellation, including Iridium Certus and Aireon. 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 potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development and functionality of Iridium NEXT and related services, and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, 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, 2017, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 22, 2018, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. 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.

       
Press Contact:     Investor Contact:
Jordan Hassin     Kenneth Levy
Iridium Communications Inc.     Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (646) 872-0067     +1 (703) 287-7570
Jordan.Hassin@Iridium.com     Ken.Levy@Iridium.com 
Twitter: @Iridiumcomm     Twitter: @IridiumIR
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Kenneth B. Levy
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(703) 287 7570
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