BETHESDA, Md. and MEXICO CITY, Oct. 21, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces that its subsidiary Iridium Comunicaciones de Mexico SAPI de CV ("Iridium Mexico") has received all necessary authorizations to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services (MSS) in Mexico. Iridium Mexico received its licenses from Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation (Secretaria de Transportes y Comunicaciones or "SCT") and the Federal Telecommunications Commission ("Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones or COFETEL"). As a result of these new licenses, customers in the business, government and consumer sectors in Mexico now have access to the world's only truly global MSS service.

The Iridium low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellation provides mobile voice and data communications on the entire planet, providing service where no other means of communication exists. Demand for this truly global MSS service has increased around the world with applications geared toward industries and government agencies that require reliable communications at all times.

In connection with Iridium's Mexican market entry, Iridium has partnered with Spacenet Communications Services de Mexico SA de CV ("Spacenet"), a Mexican telecommunications company. Spacenet provides integrated communication solutions to the Mexican market, including a range of voice and data services and applications, ped to meet customized communications needs.

Iridium chose Spacenet as its Mexico-based partner due to the company's sound reputation in providing communications services to its customers and its regional leadership position in the Mexican market. Through Iridium Mexico and other signed distribution partners including Spacenet, Iridium will serve established and emerging markets in Mexico such as maritime, leisure and commercial fishing, aviation, oil and gas, utilities, agriculture, emergency communications, mining, transportation, government/military and heavy construction.

"Iridium can now provide its full product and service portfolio in Mexico," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. "Mexico is a market requiring broader services than are available today given the country's extensive, open land masses that have no telecommunications infrastructure, expansive coast lines, growing remote industries and the need for effective response tools in natural disasters. It is an honor for Iridium to join the Mexican telecom market, which is vibrant and open to the innovation Iridium delivers. Strong demand for Iridium services has driven our commitment to Mexico."

"Iridium's unique attributes -- pole-to-pole coverage, availability and reliability -- make the system an attractive selection for many of our customers," said Joaquin Patron, President and CEO, Spacenet. "Spacenet subscribers who choose Iridium services can take confidence in the company's reliable, critical, truly global products and services."

Since Iridium is the only MSS service that works everywhere in the world, this market entry is particularly important for organizations in the maritime, aviation, land-mobile and machine-to-machine (M2M) markets that need to meet government regulatory obligations. Fishing regulation enforcement requires reliable long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) devices, as well as distress safety systems, on maritime vessels. Aircraft rely on Iridium flight communications systems for safety. The Radio-Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) is facilitating the evaluation and approval of Iridium-based critical safety communications for air carriers on transoceanic flights. Mexican citizens living, working and traveling in rural territories within Mexico need reliable telecommunications service to stay connected. In the area of transportation, the Iridium system has proven to be effective for tracking the location of vehicles for fleet management and prevention of hijacking. The company also anticipates its services will be valued by market sectors within Mexico such as emergency response, civil government, oil and gas, mining, utilities and construction. These demands for truly global MSS have fueled the company's international expansion as well as plans to build its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.

Through Iridium Mexico, Iridium will be able to offer its innovative product portfolio to the Mexican market, including the Iridium 9555 satellite phone; Iridium OpenPort(R), an enhanced-speed maritime communications service; and the Iridium 9601 short burst data modem used for global asset tracking and monitoring.

"Our arrangement with Spacenet, a well-respected leader in the Mexican telecommunications sector, will provide an important boost in offering Iridium services to the growing North American market," Desch said. "In addition to being our partner, Spacenet joins the increasing number of distribution partners and customers embracing Iridium services due to our ability to provide reliable services, even in the most remote regions of the planet."

Iridium also plans to expand its network of more than 200 global distribution partners by adding new service providers in Mexico. Multiple partner companies continue to sign on to distribute Iridium products and services in Mexico. In addition to the opportunity for satellite phone users to switch to Iridium, Iridium partners are launching new and innovative data applications to exploit the power and global reach of the Iridium network.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium is the only provider of mobile satellite communications services offering 100% global coverage. Iridium's constellation operates in a low-earth orbit and its satellite network provides communication services to regions of the world not served by wireless or wireline networks. Iridium offers voice and data communications services to the U.S. and foreign governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations and consumers via its constellation of 66 in-orbit satellites, seven in-orbit spares and related ground infrastructure. Iridium's commercial end-user base includes the emergency services, maritime, government, utilities, oil and gas, mining, leisure, forestry, construction and transportation markets. Iridium's products and related applications are installed in unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters, commercial aircrafts, marine vessels, and ground vehicles. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next generation constellation, Iridium NEXT, which will support new and existing Iridium product and service offerings. Iridium is headquartered in Bethesda, MD.

About Spacenet

"Spacenet is a Corporation focused on providing carrier class IP fixed and mobile satellite services to corporate and government clients in Mexico, utilizing state of the art gateways in Puebla and Mexico City as well as the Iridium constellation of satellites for the provision of aeronautical, maritime and terrestrial applications involving voice and data with global reach."

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