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Iridium Selects Hughes to Develop Access Network Controller as Major Step Toward "Iridium NEXT"

BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 8, 2010-- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) has selected Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) to develop an Access Network Controller (ANC) in its gateway ground radio control network. The ANC is part of a multi-year plan for Iridium to upgrade and evolve its gateway network in preparation for Iridium's next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. Under the development contract, Hughes will design and supply a fully tested, turnkey ANC system, which will be integrated with Iridium's existing system, together with training and maintenance. Iridium expects the ANC to be complete and operational by the fourth quarter of 2011.

"The new ANC will be a pivotal component of Iridium's global satellite network, processing all voice and data calls based on the Iridium air interface," said Matthew Mohebbi, vice president and general manager of mobile satellite, Hughes. "Hughes is using state-of-the-art Advanced Telecommunication Architecture (ATCA) platforms to design an ANC with significantly increased bandwidth and signal-accessing capabilities to expand Iridium's network capacity, and support the additional features and services planned for Iridium NEXT." 

"The ANC project with Hughes is a significant step forward for Iridium's gateway ground network," said John Roddy, executive vice president of ground operations and product development, Iridium. "Initially, it will support all of our current telephony services, more than double the capacity of the existing Iridium system, and create a flexible gateway network with the ability to cost-effectively add earth terminal sites. In the long term, the ANC positions us to offer Iridium NEXT services and provide for added capacity and service demands in a cost-effective manner with enhanced reliability and an improved user interface."

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium Communications Inc. ( is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and 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, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., U.S.A. and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).

About Hughes Network Systems, LLC

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses and consumers. HughesNet® encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services from Hughes, bridging the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies. Its broadband satellite products are based on global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU standards organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A and GMR-1. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 2.1 million systems to customers in over 100 countries.

Headquartered in Germantown, Md., USA, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:HUGH). For additional information, please visit

CONTACT:  Iridium Communications Inc.
          Press Contact:
          Marie Knowles
          +1 (301) 571-6279

          Rhodes Communications
          Press Contact:
          Jim Rhodes
          +1 (757) 451-0602


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