Iridium expands reach with South African license

Iridium expands reach with South African license 24 Jun, 10, Source: Iridium

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces the establishment of “Iridium South Africa,” under which Iridium has licenses to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services (MSS) in the country. The authorization was provided by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the regulator for the South African communications and broadcasting services. This authorization enables Iridium partners the ability to better address the growing government and commercial enterprise market demand with Iridium products, services and applications in the country.

The Iridium low-Earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellation provides mobile voice and data communications over the entire planet, offering service where no other means of communication exists. As a result of the new communications licenses, the government, business and consumer sectors in South Africa now have greater access to the world’s only truly global MSS.

“Iridium has grown its commercial service revenues between 2006 and 2009 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 27 percent, primarily through the introduction of new products and services, attraction of new distribution partners, and expansion of its geographic sales reach,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “This announcement continues to demonstrate the demand for Iridium’s MSS around the globe. South Africa is an important and growing market that requires Iridium’s broad, reliable, dependable, mobile communications services.”

Iridium anticipates its MSS can be utilized by the South African government to provide backup communications in urban and rural areas, and in emergency situations, as is the case in many regions of the world. Iridium’s global low-latency, two-way machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are ideal for markets such as transportation, logistics, security, oil and gas, and mining where there are requirements to deliver continuous, intelligent communications on valuable assets in real time. In addition, there is significant demand from global companies looking to expand their operations in the country.

Iridium voice and data services are particularly ideal for South Africa because of its coastal access to the South Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean, as well as its large rural land mass and significant mining operations. The country’s established and emerging industries, growing infrastructure and adventure tourist industry also make Iridium an essential service in South Africa.

“A satellite communications service such as Iridium’s, with service covering the entire globe, as well as all corners of our country, including her shores and areas that may never be served otherwise by current service providers, is an enormous development for South Africa,” said Dr. John K. Nkadimeng, patron of the John Kgoana Nkadimeng Foundation, and one of the champions of the liberation struggle for freedom in South Africa. Nkadimeng, along with Nelson R. Mandela, is one of the original 1956 Treason Trial anti-apartheid defendants.

In addition to the existing partners with export operations in South Africa, Iridium anticipates opportunities for its more than 200 global distribution partners to form new partnerships to deliver a range of innovative voice and data applications that will connect the South African market to the global reach of the Iridium network.

Demand for truly global MSS has helped fuel the company’s international expansion as well as plans to build its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. Iridium continues to pursue licenses in other significant geographical markets, such as Russia and China, which represent the opportunity for further expansion of the company’s products and services.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium Communications Inc. (www.iridium.com) is the only mobile satellite service (MSS) company offering coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting (LEO) cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of distributors, and provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. and international government agencies. The company’s customers represent a broad spectrum of industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety, utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation. Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The company is headquartered in McLean, Va., USA and trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).

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