Iridium Communications Inc.
May 14, 2012

Iridium Authorized to Distribute Products and Services in Russia

MCLEAN, Va., May 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces that OOO Iridium Communications ("Iridium Russia") has received authorization from Russian authorities for commercial operations in the country. Iridium Russia expects to launch service in the second quarter of 2012, once all technical licensing requirements are complete.

Iridium anticipates expanded demand for its products and services in Russia as a result of this authorization for commercial operations. In 2009, Iridium formed Iridium Russia to conduct business in the country due to strong regional interest in its innovative voice and data communications capabilities.  Iridium is making a significant, multi-year investment as part of its commitment to the Russian market. The company is actively engaging new and existing distribution relationships in the country to support customer demand. 

"Our partners are expressing great enthusiasm for our entry into the Russian market," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. "We expect Iridium Russia and partners to capture at least 40 percent of the mobile satellite services market in Russia by 2015 — which we think could be a $70-100 million market by then. Our network is uniquely suited to serve the Russian market with its ability to provide 100 percent global coverage for organizations, businesses and individuals for voice, data, tracking or other critical connectivity. Through cost-effective satellite communications services, Iridium® extends the connectivity available beyond that of local telecom and technology companies serving diverse Russian markets. Iridium enables voice and data connections where traditional commercial networks cannot reach, including many remote parts of Russia and within the Arctic Region. Around the world, our service has become essential to important sectors such as maritime, aviation, emergency response, civil government, oil and gas, mining and transportation. And, Iridium Russia will be able to serve these markets within the country both this year and well into the future thanks to our planned launch of our second generation network, Iridium NEXT."

"Blue Sky Network is proud to be an Iridium partner," said Jon Gilbert, president and CEO, Blue Sky Network.  "We believe that Iridium's expansion into Russia will be a tremendous opportunity for both Iridium and our organization, as we seek development and growth into this high-potential and untapped market.  With vast and remote regions, the Russian markets present ideal application environments for our combined technologies in aviation and land-based mobile tracking."

Victor Chernov, acting chief of the State Emergency and Rescue Marine Service of the Russian Federation and head of the State Marine Rescue Coordination Center, said, "Iridium services will allow our operations to remain connected during critical search and rescue missions throughout the whole territory of Russia, and its exclusive economic zone, including such important regions as the Arctic. We are excited to know that Russia is now authorized to offer these services throughout the Russian Federation — this is good news for our country." 

According to Victor Glushko, general director, Iridium Russia, the country will be a strategic growth area for in-region and international service providers able to deliver Iridium products and services to Russian businesses and, specifically, transportation organizations across land, sea and air. In particular, he said, maritime and energy-related services are showing strong demand throughout the region.

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.

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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 the expansion of the market for Iridium's products and services in Russia and the development and deployment of the Iridium NEXT system. 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 Iridium's investment in Russia, its ability to engage in distribution relationships, the health, capacity and content of Iridium's current satellite constellation, 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, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 6, 2012. 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.

CONTACT: Press Contacts:

         

         Liz DeCastro

         Iridium Communications Inc.

         liz.decastro@iridium.com

         +1 (703) 287-7421

         

         Oleg Leonov

         FTI Consulting (On Behalf of Iridium)

         Oleg.Leonov@fticonsulting.com

         +7-495-795-0623