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Iridium Communications, Inc. (IRDM) Expands Into South Africa

Iridium Communications Inc., – the global mobile satellite service (MSS) leader offering planet-wide coverage via its constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites, announced yesterday the launch of Iridium South Africa, whereby the Company will execute licenses obtained to operate, provide and sell MSS throughout the country.

Obtained from South Africa’s communication and broadcasting service regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), this authorization streamlines IRDM partners’ ability to provide the burgeoning public and private markets with highly in-demand IRDM products, applications and services.

CEO of IRDM, Matt Desch, noted the ever-increasing commercial service revenues the Company pinned down between 2006 and 2009 (27% compound annual growth rate) as deriving from the introduction of new products and services, expansion of the distribution network, and also the geographic expansion of its sales capacity.

Mr. Desch hailed this announcement as a continued demonstration of strong global demand for IRDM’s MSS offerings, and noted the strategic importance of the growing South African market for the kind of robust mobile communications services the Company has to offer.

The Company’s LEO system of satellites generates high quality mobile voice and data capabilities, allowing the Company to offer services anywhere on the planet, including where no other forms of communication exist.

With a multiplicity of potential governmental utilizations of the Company’s suite of MSS offerings, such as communications backup in remote locations or emergency situations, the Company is on solid footing, even without the significant external demand from global companies looking to set up operations in South Africa for whom this situation will be quite fortuitous.

The global low-latency, two-way machine-to-machine (M2M) communications capability provided via IRDM is ideally suited for government and infrastructural applications in security, transportation, logistics and mineral exploration/recovery, and virtually anywhere real-time continuous linking of intelligent devices can yield enhanced operational efficiencies.

IRDM’s MSS offerings are ideal for South Africa because of coastal access to the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as well as the country’s sizeable rural land mass and scattered mining.

Dr. John K. Nkadimeng, patron of the John Kgoana Nkadimeng Foundation and a tireless liberation struggle player who stood beside Nelson Mandela in 1956, called the advent of IRDM’s MSS in South Africa, and its ability to provide communications coverage for the entire country, “an enormous development for South Africa.”

IRDM looks to tack on additional distributors to its 200+ global network to further capitalize on expansion into South Africa, and also has plans to go one step further in satisfying global demand for truly global MSS with the implementation of its next-gen satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.

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