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Iridium's New, Truly Global Broadband Service - Iridium Certus(SM) — Goes Live for On-Orbit Satellite Testing

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) today announced that it has begun live testing of the Iridium Certus service on operational Iridium NEXT satellites.  Iridium Certus will be Iridium's new, truly global broadband service, offering safety and critical L-band communications connectivity through the Iridium® NEXT satellite constellation. Graduating from laboratory-based tests, Iridium Certus on-orbit testing is a major milestone along the path towards introducing commercial service, currently scheduled for early second quarter, 2018.

Beginning on September 25, 2017, the testing and validation process has involved uploading and activating software to the Iridium NEXT satellites already in orbit to enable Iridium Certus.  As of October 4, 2017, several Iridium NEXT satellites in operation were already undergoing live on-orbit Iridium Certus testing. As each new additional Iridium NEXT satellite comes on-line in the coming months, Iridium Certus service will be activated through those satellites as well until all 66 operational satellites in the Iridium NEXT constellation are active, expected in 2018.

"Iridium Certus is going to fundamentally change the status quo in satellite connectivity for aviation, maritime, land-mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and government users," says Iridium CEO Matt Desch. "Achieving this major milestone continues our momentum for our mission to introduce world-changing broadband services and applications designed to help our partners provide critical connectivity solutions, both standalone and in support of other broadband technologies."

Iridium Certus terminals are being built by Cobham, L3 Communications, Rockwell Collins and Thales USA, all of which are participants in the Iridium Global Value Added Manufacturer program.  It is expected that live on-orbit tests will be conducted on the terminals as they are ready.  Featuring small form factor, cost-effective terminals and antennas, Iridium Certus will ultimately offer the fastest L-band broadband solution available, supported by the world's only truly global network.  Once all service classes are fully deployed, Iridium Certus will be capable of speeds up to 1.4 Mbps; however, it will feature a variety of service speeds, cost points, and antenna options.  These include;

  • IoT-focused Iridium Certus 20 (22 Kbps) through small, battery powered and highly mobile devices capable of supporting applications such as asset tracking, remote monitoring, telemetry, the aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) and global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) applications;
  • Iridium Certus 100 (88 Kbps) in small form factors capable of supporting applications such as email, graphical weather (WX), photo transfer, internet/VPN and credit card validating;
  • Iridium Certus 200 (176 Kbps) capable of supporting applications such as electronic chart and display information system (ECDIS) updates, aeronautical charts and streaming audio;
  • Iridium Certus 350 (352 Kbps) capable of supporting applications such as flight data recorder streaming, VSAT redundancy and low-resolution video;
  • Iridium Certus 700 (704 Kbps) supporting applications such as video conferencing, standard definition video, multi-user internet/VPN and telemedicine; and
  • Iridium Certus 1400 (1.4 Mbps) capable of supporting applications such as high definition video, video conferencing, multi-user internet/VPN, telemedicine and additional applications.

Current on-orbit testing is focused on Iridium Certus 350, the initial service class to be introduced, which will deliver internet and voice services to compact terminals built specifically for maritime, aviation, and terrestrial/vehicular applications.  These terminal products will be upgradable to Iridium Certus 700 with a firmware update once the service is available.

Iridium NEXT is the company's next-generation satellite constellation, replacing and enhancing its existing network of inter-connected low-Earth orbit satellites spanning the entire globe — the largest commercial satellite constellation in space.  The third launch for the Iridium NEXT constellation is currently targeting October 9, 2017 at 5:37 a.m. PDT out of Vandenberg Air Force Base, and will carry another 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low-earth orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The constellation's unique architecture features interconnected satellites that form a web of coverage around the earth, enabling low-latency connectivity over the oceans, in the poles and other remote areas. 

For a complete overview of Iridium Certus speeds and capabilities, please visit
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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

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 presentation include statements regarding the deployment and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation and products and services to be offered over the constellation, including Iridium Certus. 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 products and 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, 2016, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 23, 2017, 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:

Jordan Hassin                                                                                                   
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (646) 872-0067 
Twitter: @IridiumComm

Investor Contact:

Kenneth Levy
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7570 
Twitter: @IridiumIR

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