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First call placed over the Iridium NEXT system

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Iridium Communications Inc. based in MCLEAN, Va and its prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, announced a huge development in the new Iridium NEXT constellation by completing the first successful end-to-end test call using Iridium NEXT hardware. The call provides first hand validation of the L-band hardware, and processing software that will be used in the Iridium NEXT  global constellation.

The test call was made using an Iridium satellite phone. The call path then routed through Iridium NEXT satellite hardware components simulating the connection to a satellite, through Iridium's upgraded ground network, through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and on to a cell phone. This test is a significant development in Iridium's system integration, and testing efforts, and the first time a full end-to-end verification of the call flow has been accomplished. This is also the first step in an effort to fully validate service capability through the Iridium NEXT system, which is being readied for scheduled launch in 2015, and will completely replace the other iridium constellation, and give their clients an upgraded network that can handle, and perform more up to todays technology.

"Placing the first call through Iridium NEXT hardware is a big step for our team as they work to ensure high quality satellites will be ready for launch," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer. "The call quality we experienced was remarkable, and this achievement is a reflection of many long hours of research, design, and development work by a very talented group of partners."

Iridium NEXT is the Company's next generation satellite constellation, which will offer improved bandwidth, data speeds, and of course the same global coverage Iridium is known for. It will include a hosted payload for AireonSM, which will be the first truly global aircraft tracking, and surveillance capability, extending ADS-B coverage and benefits to every flight path across the planet, which means no more disappearing Malaysian airliners crashing into the unknown (if that's what you want to believe of course), or aircraft of any kind without having an explanation as to what happened, and where the aircraft is at that moment. The Iridium NEXT satellite network will also serve as a platform for the company's Iridium PRIMESM offering, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads offering significant cost savings for civil, commercial and government payload customers.

The Iridium's NEXT system will trully bring major steps forward in broadband data speeds at lower rates, and a stronger voice, and messaging global communication network that will be one of this centuries most major milestones in technology. The other good thing is that all of their equipment being manufactured at this time will work on the new iridium NEXT system, and as far as we have heard, most of the earlier versions of satellite phones, open port terminals, and LBT's will remain working on the new iridium NEXT constellation.

For more information on Iridium NEXT feel free to call us, or visit the iridium website linked below

A little bit 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 on the earth, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers a revolutionary, 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 are under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.

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