updated 10/19/2010 7:15:40 AM ET 2010-10-19T11:15:40

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 19, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces it has contracted with Ericsson Federal Inc. (EFI) to implement a new Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution (MSS) to provide Iridium's next-generation switching technology, including custom design, development, integration and maintenance for the Iridium satellite communications system. Iridium has transitioned all commercial traffic to the new Ericsson MSS switching technology.

The next-generation Ericsson MSS platform will support both current and future satellite communications services as well as increase the capacity of the existing Iridium network. This enhanced technology will provide a major upgrade in the current infrastructure, which will allow Iridium's present system to meet growing customer demand. It will also contribute to a smooth transition into Iridium NEXT, the company's next-generation satellite constellation.

"Iridium's investment in the new switching system is the next step in modernizing our current network," said Jayesh Patel, vice president of network engineering and planning, Iridium. "Upgrading to the Ericsson switch improves the capacity and flexibility of our already robust, redundant system."

"In the long term, the new switch lays the framework for the upgraded functionality and capacity of Iridium NEXT," said John Roddy, executive vice president of ground operations and product development, Iridium. "Our partnership with Ericsson is instrumental as we continue to move forward toward Iridium NEXT, positioning Iridium to meet the growing demands for added capacity and services in a cost-effective manner and with enhanced reliability."

"Ericsson MSS offerings are designed to power the next generation all-IP converged networks that will support all types of traffic and emerging services," said Doug Smith, president and CEO, Ericsson Federal. "By providing the lowest power consumption on the market along with the smallest footprint, Ericsson MSS will deliver Iridium a low-cost and environmentally-friendly operation to power today's and tomorrow's networks. This relationship demonstrates Iridium's commitment to investing in the development of its next-generation satellite constellation."

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., U.S.A. 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).

About Ericsson Federal Inc.

Ericsson Federal Inc. is transforming the delivery of wired and wireless broadband applications for government agencies and the citizens they serve. A subsidiary of Ericsson, the worldwide leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies which provides support for networks with over 1 billion subscribers, Ericsson Federal enhances government access to technology through wired and wireless broadband systems, video management, collaboration and situational awareness solutions. Ericsson Federal enables government agencies to leverage its parent company's massive research and development investments and worldwide commercial leadership to achieve their missions with advanced communications solutions. To learn more visit www.ericssonfederal.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. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Iridium NEXT. Other 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 increases in customer demand for our products and services, and the development of and transition to Iridium NEXT, including expanded capacity and features, 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-K for the year ended December 31, 2009, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16, 2010 and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2010 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 9, 2010. 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.

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