Iridium Communications Inc.
Mar 6, 2017

Iridium® Safety Voice Communications Installs Surge Past 500 Aircraft

Airlines seek to replace high frequency (HF) radios with the safety, security and efficiency of Iridium Satellite Communications

MCLEAN, Va., March 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced that its Safety Voice service, which is used for air traffic communications, has been adopted by more than 500 aircraft as of February 2017. The Iridium Safety Voice service provides aircraft operators with an alternative to existing HF radio systems, replacing them with a secure satellite-based option for long-range communications. 

In August of 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) distributed an ‘Information for Operators' (InFO) notice, alerting aircraft operators of the modifications required to comply with Policy Letter-106 which outlines how aircraft may operate with one HF radio and one satellite communications (SATCOM) platform over the West Atlantic Routing System (WATRS). The Iridium Safety Voice service features a dialing system requiring multiple user authentication steps for in-flight communications in addition to a call priority system, ensuring urgent communications are not interrupted.

Over the past few years Iridium has seen substantial adoption of its aviation services with more than a 100 percent increase in active airframes using the Safety Voice service between 2015 and 2017.  The ability to add a satellite system using the Iridium network as an alternative to a second HF system has several benefits, including lower power requirements, lighter-weight equipment, and better quality and coverage, resulting in increased efficiency and fuel economy.

"With more than 500 active air transport aircraft around the globe having already adopted Iridium's Safety Voice service, we know that the industry is hungry for this technology," said Brian Pemberton, vice president and general manager, aviation at Iridium. "With the launch of Iridium NEXT and Iridium CertusSM products, aircraft operators will soon have access to high quality, global and cost-effective satcom solutions, with unparalleled performance, that will positively impact their bottom lines."

Pemberton continued, "The Iridium Safety Voice service adds elements of safety, security and efficiency that are not available with traditional, high-frequency systems. Adding Safety Voice to the existing FANS 1/A data capability enables a full suite of long-range flightdeck safety communications for efficient and cost-effective air traffic control. The rapid adoption we're seeing by the industry is a testament to its value."

Iridium is currently launching Iridium NEXT, the company's next-generation global satellite constellation.  All existing Iridium aviation services, including the Safety Voice service are compatible with the new constellation. The first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites were launched into low-Earth-orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on January 14, 2017.  Seven additional SpaceX launches are scheduled to take place over the next 12 to 15 months, delivering a total of 75 Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit, including the second launch now targeted for mid-June 2017.  In total, the operational Iridium NEXT constellation will consist of 66 satelliteswith nine satellites serving as on-orbit spares. 

The InFO can be read in its entirety at: www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/info/all_infos/media/2015/InFO15008.pdf

For more information about Iridium, visit:  www.Iridium.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 begun launching 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 presentation 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 CertusSM. 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, 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:

Diane Hockenberry
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7421
Diane.hockenberry@iridium.com