MCLEAN, Va., July 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced that its application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the provision of mobile satellite communications in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was reviewed by the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR). The application will now proceed to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its next meeting in November, before advancing to a group of experts for comprehensive technical and operational evaluation.
Overwhelmingly, the delegates stated support for the United States position to advance Iridium's application to the next stage for evaluation. Final approval will be up to the Maritime Safety Committee, following review of the experts' report by NCSR, which is expected by mid-2016.
"This is a victory for Iridium and the maritime industry," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. "The overwhelming support for our application to provide the industry an alternative and equally capable option for GMDSS services is a testament to the value and benefit the Iridium® network can provide to maritime safety." This is particularly important for coverage of Polar regions, where the incumbent GMDSS provider is not able to provide service.
Iridium's constellation of 66 low-Earth orbit, inter-connected satellites operates as a fully-meshed network and provides robust and reliable coverage everywhere on Earth – including Polar regions – where demand for reliable voice and data communications is on the rise as shipping and trade routes continue to expand into these remote waters.
Iridium will begin deploying its second generation constellation (Iridium NEXT), in 2015, offering greater capacity, bandwidth and data speeds, as well as backwards compatibility for existing products and services in the market.
In anticipation of IMO recognition, Iridium is working with established maritime communications equipment manufacturers for the production and certification of GMDSS terminals that use the Iridium network, along with Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers and service providers for the provision of maritime safety communications. Once approved, the shipboard terminals will meet both the GMDSS and operational communications needs of a vessel, giving the industry the option of a single, affordable communications terminal to satisfy both safety and business communications wherever they operate. Expected to be available before the end of 2015, GMDSS terminals using the Iridium network are designed to have an operational longevity of nearly 20 years, eliminating the need for vessel owners and operators to purchase new equipment every few years.
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 a major development program underway for 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.
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 development of the Iridium NEXT constellation; expected Iridium NEXT deployment and launch schedule; expected Iridium NEXT functionality; and the regulatory approval process for Iridium's proposed GMDSS service. 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 overall Iridium NEXT development and functionality, potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, 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-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") on May 1, 2014, 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.
CONTACT: Press Contact: Diane Hockenberry Iridium Communications Inc. +1 (703) 287-7421 Diane.firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:Iridium Communications Inc.