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Iridium Provides Satellite Voice and Data Communications for 2010 Iditarod Sled Dog Race

BETHESDA, Md., March 4, 2010 -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) is teaming with its service partners, SatCom Global (Americas) and IonEarth, to provide satellite voice and data services for the Iditarod® Sled Dog Race, which begins March 5 in Anchorage, Alaska.

IonEarth is equipping each of the participating sleds with a lightweight battery-powered GPS tracking device, which will transmit the sled's location, speed, heading, altitude and air temperature every 15 minutes through the Iridium satellite network to provide a vital safety communications lifeline for the race's mushers, dogs and volunteers. Race officials and fans can view the latest position and status of each competitor on a 3-D map on the Iditarod Website ( This not only comes in handy for race monitoring, but also because it allows for a regular stream of data on the racers and sled dogs. The racers themselves will not be able to view the data from the trackers in the field, preserving the tradition of self-sufficiency and independence in competing against each other and fighting the elements.

SatCom Global (Americas) is deploying 55 Iridium satellite phones which will be used by race officials and volunteers during the race.

The Iditarod trail, which snakes across more than 1,000 miles through the Alaskan wilderness from Anchorage to Nome, covers some of the world's harshest terrain. Most of the route – particularly through the center of Alaska – is not covered by terrestrial landlines, cellular networks or other satellite communication services.

"Iridium is the only satellite system providing reliable coverage in all of Alaska," said Stan Hooley, executive director of the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC). "The Iridium tracking devices and phone handsets will again provide a critical safety lifeline for mushers, dogs, veterinarians, medics, media, bush pilots and volunteers who man the isolated checkpoints along the trail."

"This is the second year ITC is requiring our satellite tracking devices as mandatory safety equipment on all sleds competing in the Iditarod," said Jerry Miller, president of IonEarth. "For the 2010 race, we are introducing new features, such as a 'Race at a Glance' iPhone® application enabling fans to follow the racers from the palms of their hands. Also new this year is a live replay capability that lets viewers turn the clock back to any point in the race."

"Organizations and individuals who live, work and travel in Alaska have learned to rely on Iridium satellite phones as their critical communication lifeline to the outside world," said Teri Petram, director of sales and marketing, SatCom Global (Americas). "Iridium is the only choice when it comes to reliable communication in the large portions of Alaska's frontier regions beyond the reach of cellular networks. There are no alternatives."

Greg Ewert, executive vice president of global distribution channels for Iridium, observed that the satellite data technology employed in IonEarth's devices is also being deployed for tracking remote assets all around the world. "Mobile data is Iridium's fastest growing business area," he said. "Every day, our satellite network is being used to track vehicles, aircraft, shipping containers, construction equipment, supplies and individuals globally."

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 IonEarth

IonEarth (, an Iridium value-added reseller, provides real-time tracking and logistics support for a wide range of sporting events, including long-distance off-road and sailing races, as well as expeditions in the remote regions of the world. The company is based in Traverse City, Mich.

About SatCom Global

SatCom Global (, a member of SatCom Group, is an Iridium value-added reseller and service provider.  SatCom Global supplies reliable satellite communications equipment and airtime throughout an international network of service providers and dealers.

About Iditarod

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race (, billed as the "Last Great Race on Earth," runs from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea. The racers will cover almost 1,000 miles in 10-17 days. The iconic competition pays homage to the mushers who, in 1925, raced across the Alaskan wilderness to deliver needed diphtheria serum to Nome via the Iditarod Trail mail routes.

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

          Rhodes Communications, Inc.
          Jim Rhodes
          +1 (757) 451-0602

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