updated 5/31/2011 7:16:39 AM ET 2011-05-31T11:16:39

MCLEAN, Va., May 31, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Navigation Maritime Bulagare (Navibulgar), a leading company in the bulk shipping sector, reports significant communication cost savings and greater management efficiencies since retrofitting its fleet of 45 bulk carriers with Iridium OpenPort® from Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM).

Navibulgar retrofitted its fleet of 45 bulk carriers with Iridium OpenPort broadband communications terminals in 2010 following an extensive analysis and operational evaluation of several communication solutions. Iridium OpenPort provides mariners cost-effective, comprehensive, reliable pole-to-pole voice and data communications connections. AND Group, an important member of the Iridium partner ecosystem, is the service provider.

"Navibulgar has been a pioneer in integrating Iridium OpenPort into its fleet management and IT infrastructure," said Dan Mercer, vice president, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, for Iridium. "Since introducing Iridium OpenPort to the maritime industry in 2008, we have seen a steady increase in market share due to its attractive value proposition, offering three independent phone lines, data speeds of 128 kbps, low-cost service plans supported by Iridium's global coverage area and high network reliability."

"The high-speed data connections provided by Iridium OpenPort are an important tool for management of vessel operation, monitoring and control, which leads to cost reduction and higher profitability," said Alex Alexandrov, director of purchasing, IT and communications for Navibulgar and Managing Director of its subsidiary Navibulgar Services Ltd. "We have not only significantly reduced our communication costs, but managed to develop and implement sophisticated ship management software solutions enabling us to manage our vessels more efficiently."

"We are now able to conduct proper analysis and measure the relevant key performance indicators – making it possible to take the necessary corrective and preventive actions in a timely manner," said Alexandrov.

"Our aim is for each ship to be an extension of the office, and with our current communication solutions based on Iridium OpenPort we are very close to achieving that," he added.

Alexandrov also noted that Iridium OpenPort plays a key role in improved crew motivation and morale. "Prepaid crew calling cards by Iridium are a good solution, and this is what we are using onboard our vessels. This way we significantly reduce the administration burden in our office related to managing and controlling crew calling costs. We are also implementing prepaid data solutions via Iridium OpenPort for crew private e-mails and controlled web browsing, which we believe will provide our crew with much needed connections with their families ashore at low cost."

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 Select Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).

CONTACT: Press Contacts:
         
         Marie Knowles
         Iridium Communications Inc.
         +1 (703) 287-7476
         marie.knowles@iridium.com
         
         Jim Rhodes
         Rhodes Communications
         +1 (757) 451-0602
         jrhodes@rhodescomm.com

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