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Iridium NEXT Platform Software Successfully Completes First Phase of Testing

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced the successful completion of the first testing phase of the Iridium NEXT platform software. Developed by Thales Alenia Space, the platform software will manage all flight functions on Iridium NEXT satellites, including such systems as power management, solar array positioning, propulsion operations, navigation and attitude control. This first phase completed all testing of primary functions in preparation for the first launch, which is scheduled to be in 2015.

"Completion of this testing phase is a huge step forward in launching the constellation," stated Scott Smith, chief operating officer, Iridium Communications Inc. "Through a close collaboration with Thales, we were able to develop this software successfully, and I have no doubt that continued rigorous testing will further prove its functionality and resiliency."

Thales Alenia Space is the primary contractor for the software program, with SELEX Galileo contributing the software for its Multi-Headed Startracker, which determines the orientation of the satellite. The platform software will now undergo two additional testing phases. This further testing will focus on systems integration and added functionality, and will ensure the satellite has greater autonomy to operate and recover from anomalies.

"This milestone reinforces the stability and dependability of the Iridium NEXT satellites as we move closer to launch," stated Denis Allard, VP Program Manager for Thales Iridium NEXT. "The rigorous and lengthy testing process helps verify that the satellites will perform as planned, and will provide dependable service to the network for years to come."

The software platform for Iridium NEXT satellites was developed with functionality similar to the software on Iridium's current satellites, which ensures that each satellite is able to autonomously recover from issues on orbit. This is a necessary element in limiting operations workload and rapidly reacting to on-orbit anomalies that, if left to ground intervention, could result in lost satellites.

The Iridium NEXT satellite network will consist of 66 in-orbit satellites, and a number of in-orbit spares. The constellation is scheduled to begin launching in 2015 and when fully operational will offer greater bandwidth and data speeds. Iridium NEXT serves as the platform for Aireon℠, an important new global aircraft and survelliance system using space-based ADS-B, as well as Iridium PRIMESM, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads which will offer all elements of a successful hosted payload mission, at an estimated cost savings of 50 percent or more compared to current standalone solutions.

For more information on Iridium NEXT, go to www.iridium.com.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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 and capabilities of the Iridium NEXT constellation, including the expected Iridium NEXT deployment and launch schedule. 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 Iridium NEXT development and functionality, potential delays in Iridium NEXT deployment, and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its current 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.hockenberry@iridium.com

Source:Iridium Communications Inc.