Fast Facts

Iridium Force® Introduced – Sep 2011

Iridium introduces Iridium Force®, a new strategy for global handheld communications. The company also launches the rugged, location-smart Iridium Extreme® satellite phone, along with a number of online tracking and mapping portals that support the phone. The Iridium AxcessPoint Wi-Fi Accessory as well as “apps” for connecting smartphones and devices anywhere are also introduced.

Iridium Critical Communications Leveraged after Japan Earthquake and Tsunami – Mar 2011

Japan’s telecom, military and emergency first responders leverage the Iridium global network. In the first 72 hours, Iridium voice and circuit-switched data traffic alone increased more than 700 percent in the region. Within hours of the earthquake and tsunami, Iridium worked with Japan’s major telecom company KDDI to ensure activation of the backup systems. As a result, most civil defense outstations, fire and rescue helicopters, and vessels were already equipped with Iridium for voice and tracking. In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, more than 1,700 Iridium satellite phones were rushed to aid government and civilian relief efforts in the areas hit hardest to support ongoing recovery operations.

Iridium NEXT Financing Complete - Oct 2010

Iridium successfully closes the financing facility for its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT. The facility is led by export credit agency, Coface, is provided by a syndicate of nine banks. They will provide up to $1.8 billion of financing to Iridium for the design and manufacture of Iridium NEXT satellites.

Iridium Expands Reach with South African License – Jun 2010

Iridium announces the establishment of "Iridium South Africa," under which Iridium has licenses to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services in the country.

Iridium Names Prime Contractor and Major Launch Provider - Jun 2010

Thales Alenia Space selected for the design and construction of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation. Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is named as a major provider of launch services for Iridium NEXT, Iridium's next-generation satellite constellation.

Game Changing Iridium 9602 is Available - May 2010

The Iridium 9602 Short Burst Data (SBD) Transceiver, designed to be integrated into a wireless data application with other host system hardware and software, provides a complete solution for a specific application or vertical market. The matchbook-sized Iridium 9602 is 69 percent smaller and 74 percent lighter than its predecessor the Iridium 9601.

ProTECTS Alliance is Formed - Dec 2009

ProTECTS Alliance (which stands for Promotion of Two-way Emergency Communication and Tracking Systems) is formed by Iridium and other mobile satellite industry companies. The ProTECTS Alliance, now part of the Royal Technical Commission for Maritime Services (RTCM), aims to foster the rapid and orderly adoption of portable two-way satellite location, tracking and messaging technologies.

Iridium and GHL Acquisition Announce Close of Transaction and Stock Offering - Sep 2009

Iridium and GHL Acquisition Corp. announce the close of their transaction, making Iridium a public company. The public company’s new name is Iridium Communications Inc. (Iridium), trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbols IRDM (common stock), IRDMW ($7.00 warrants), IRDMZ ($11.50 warrants) and IRDMU (units).

Iridium 9522B Launched – Nov 2008

Iridium announces that the 9522B second-generation satellite transceiver is available to registered Iridium partners. The 9522B leverages Iridium’s global coverage, high network reliability and low-latency satellite links to provide a wide range of voice and data solutions for mobile users outside the reach of landlines and terrestrial wireless networks.

Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone Launched – Oct 2008

Iridium launches its smallest, lightest and most powerful satellite phone to date. The Iridium 9555 satellite phone is ruggedly built, will work everywhere, and is the ultimate in dependable mobile communications. It is engineered to withstand the world’s harshest environments, and is a critical communications lifeline for the world’s toughest customers.

Iridium OpenPort® Is Launched – Sep 2008

Iridium OpenPort® is launched - the world’s first and only global voice and data service engineered for the maritime market. Easy to install and affordable, Iridium OpenPort® delivers up to three phone lines and features always-on data with speeds up to 128 Kbps on an all-IP backbone.

Low-Cost Maritime Crew-Calling Plan Announced - Sep 2008

Iridium unveils its new, low-cost, high-value prepaid crew-calling program with the best coverage and value offered in the industry. Iridium GoChat pre-paid cards eliminates off-peak value pricing in favor of a single around-the-clock standard per-minute rates.

Iridium Announces Plans to Combine with GHL Acquisition Corp. in 2009 – Sep 2008

GHL Acquisition Corp. and Iridium jointly announce the signing of a definitive agreement under which they plan to combine. The proceeds of the transaction will enable Iridium to be debt free and well positioned to develop its next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.

Frost & Sullivan Research Further Validates Reliability of Iridium – Feb 2008

Frost & Sullivan releases updated report, “2008 LEO Satellite Quality of Service Comparison – Gulf Coast Analysis.” This follow-on testing to a 2007 study reveals that calls through the Iridium system are three and one-half times more likely to be successfully connected and completed, without being dropped, than calls placed through a competitive network.

Iridium is Granted International Approval to Offer Satellite Air Traffic Safety Services - Jan 2008

The International Civil Aviation Organization Council (ICAO) approves standards and recommended practices that will permit Iridium to provide Aeronautical Mobile Satellite (Route) Services (AMS(R)S) for commercial aircraft on transoceanic flights. Member states can now approve Iridium satellite equipment to meet the international requirements for redundant communications when flying over ocean regions.

Iridium Launches First Annual “Test Your Satellite Phone” Initiative – May 2007

Iridium launches an annual public-service campaign reminding users to test their satellite phones. The “Test Your Satellite Phone” initiative aims to educate satellite phone users about the importance of checking their batteries, reviewing their operating procedures and making sure all the needed accessory cables and chargers are available before going out into the field or for continuous preparedness for natural and man-made disasters.

Iridium NEXT: Next-Generation Satellite Constellation – Feb 2007

Iridium announces plans for Iridium NEXT, a bold vision for a second-generation satellite constellation that will offer customers the same truly global coverage as today and much more. Anticipated to begin launching in 2015, Iridium plans to seamlessly replace the current constellation with new satellites that will provide enhanced capabilities, higher speeds and greater bandwidth. The Iridium NEXT constellation offers the unprecedented opportunity to affordably host secondary payloads.

Completion of Testing of Netted Iridium Service with the U.S. Marine Corps – Oct 2006

Iridium successfully completes beta tests of its new “Netted Iridium” push-to-talk voice and data service. The U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Lab continues to serve as the lead experimental developer for the netted service. Iridium is launching the netted capability in response to growing demand from the military, security, public safety and emergency response sectors.

Iridium 9601 Launched – Feb 2006

Iridium introduces the Iridium 9601: a compact, lower-cost satellite data transceiver. The 9601 is a new-generation product designed specifically to optimize two-way data links using the Iridium global SBD service. The compact size of the transceiver makes it easier for system integrators to use in smaller solution packages. The unit is ruggedized for remote operation in harsh environments.

Iridium Provides Critical Communications in Hurricane Katrina Region - Sep 2005

Iridium ensures end users and service providers are fully able to respond before and immediately after the U.S. Gulf Coast disaster. Iridium quickly gets mobile satellite communications equipment into the hands of first responders at the federal, state and local levels. In the first 72 hours of the disaster, Iridium traffic in the region increases more than 3,000 percent, while the number of subscribers increases more than 500 percent.

Iridium 9505A Launched – Dec 2004

Iridium launches the small, lightweight Iridium 9505A satellite phone ideal for industrial and rugged conditions. The 9505A was designed for travel and work in remote areas.

100,000+ Subscribers and Going Strong – Jul 2004

Iridium achieves dramatic results as its base of subscribers exceeds 100,000 and positive EBITDA is attained. Iridium is well positioned for continued growth as the only satellite communications system providing mobile voice and data service with global pole-to-pole coverage.

FCC Grants Access to 3.1 MHz of Additional Spectrum – Jun 2004

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expands Iridium’s spectrum with access to an additional 3.1 MHz to meet the increasing demand for Iridium’s satellite voice and data services. The ruling confirms Iridium’s rapid and sustained growth across all market segments.

Iridium Announces Short Messaging Service (SMS) – Aug 2003

Iridium launches Short Messaging Services (SMS) to commercial subscribers. The service allows subscribers to send and receive up to 160 characters per message to and from other subscribers anywhere around the globe.

Short Burst Data (SBD) Services Offered – Jun 2003

Iridium launches Short Burst Data (SBD) capabilities targeted at vertical market data communications applications. Designed for applications that send and receive short data messages ranging from one to 1960 bytes in size, Iridium SBD services are ideal for asset tracking and monitoring, as well as remote telemetry.

In-Orbit Spares Successfully Deployed – Feb and Jun 2002

Five satellites are launched into low-Earth orbit in February 2002 to serve as spares for Iridium’s global communications network. This marks 60 Iridium satellites successfully placed in orbit by Boeing Delta II launch vehicles, as part of a total constellation of 66 low-Earth orbiting satellites, delivering essential communications to and from remote areas everywhere on the globe. Two additional spare satellites are launched in June 2002 by a Eurockot launch vehicle from Plesetsk, Russia.

Data and Internet Services Introduced – Jun 2001

Iridium announces commercial availability of its data communications services, including dial-up connectivity at 2.4 Kbps and direct-Internet connections at speeds of up to 10 Kbps. Voice and data services now available.

Iridium Satellite LLC is Formed - Dec 2000

A group of investors organize to form Iridium Satellite LLC by acquiring operating assets of the bankrupt Iridium LLC. These include the satellite constellation, the terrestrial network, Iridium real property and intellectual capital. The company shifts from primarily a consumer-oriented business to a commercial service with a business-to-business and business-to-government focus.