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Zodiac Fleet to Adopt Iridium® OpenPort Enhanced-Bandwidth Satellite Service

BETHESDA, Md. – March 18, 2008 – Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd., a major international ship management company based in the United Kingdom, today announced that it is equipping its fleet of 125 ships with Iridium® OpenPort optimized-bandwidth satellite terminals under a service agreement with AND Group.  

“Zodiac is taking advantage of Iridium OpenPort’s unique value proposition of multiple phone lines, IP connectivity and customizable data speeds up to 128 kbps, with low-cost hardware and flexible per-megabyte pricing plans,” said Greg Ewert, executive vice president of Iridium Satellite. “Coupled with Iridium’s global gap-free coverage and high network reliability, Iridium OpenPort will provide the optimum satcom solution for Zodiac’s fleet of ships around the world. Based on market feedback, we expect other shipping fleets to follow Zodiac’s lead over the coming months, and we are well positioned to capture a significant market share in the marine satellite sector this year.”

“Zodiac originally fitted its fleet with Iridium systems and AND software in 2006, and has realized significant savings in monthly communication costs,” said Ian Robinson, CEO, AND Group. “After evaluating its projected requirements for ship-to-shore voice and data, Zodiac has made the decision to upgrade to Iridium OpenPort across the fleet.” 

According to Robinson, the first installations will take place this month, with rollout to the entire fleet by the end of 2008.

“Zodiac is extremely pleased with the results achieved with AND Group and Iridium over the last two years, and is delighted to be among the first fleets to upgrade to Iridium OpenPort. The higher-bandwidth satellite service, coupled with AND Group’s IPSignature software and Iridium’s flexible per-megabyte pricing, will provide a cost-effective fleetwide solution for ship’s business, crew calling and e-mail,” said a spokesperson for Zodiac Maritime Agencies.

“The installed cost of an Iridium OpenPort ship terminal is 50 to 90 percent lower than other marine satcom systems, and – with no moving parts – it requires virtually no maintenance,” said Ewert. “Moreover, our per-megabyte prices are at least 30 percent lower than any other marine satcom service. This translates into a return on investment measured in months rather than years.”

About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC ( is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) offering gap-free, pole-to-pole coverage over the entire globe. Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites (and multiple in-orbit spares) provides critical voice and data services for regions not served by other communication networks. Driven by increasing demand for reliable, secure, global, mobile satellite links, Iridium has been steadily growing at a double-digit annual rate since 2004. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of more than 150 partners, and also provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense, and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, called “NEXT,” through which it will enable satellite-based innovations beyond communications. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. and is privately held.

About Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd.
Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd. ( is an international ship management company specializing in the management of Cape-size, Panamax and handy-size bulk carriers, reefer vessels, chemical tankers, LPG tankers, container ships and pure car and truck carriers. Zodiac is a United Kingdom registered company and was established in the mid-1970s. The company manages a fleet of more than 130 ships.

About AND Group plc
Founded in 1974 in North Shields, Tyne and Wear, in the United Kingdom, AND Group ( is an internationally recognized supplier of integrated communication software solutions and services to the marine and offshore sectors. The company also provides design, consulting and installation services for navigation, alarm and monitoring, automation and communication technologies to a wide variety of clients operating in the marine and oil/gas industries. The company’s latest software launch, IPSignature, has been developed specifically to enhance the benefit of the new broadband connectivity. It allows several users to share the connection, enabling all services for each individual user on a pre-paid or post-paid basis. Launch services include e-mail, fax, SMS, instant messaging, optimized Web surfing, company intranet, news, weather and vessel positioning.


SOURCE: Iridium Satellite

CONTACT: Bonnie Lieb of Sage Agency, +1-703-421-1905,, or Jim Rhodes of Rhodes Communications,
+1-757-451-0602,, both for Iridium Satellite

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