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Iridium Joint Venture, Aireon, Signs Long-Term Data Services Contract With NAV CANADA

MCLEAN, Va., April 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aireon LLC, the developer of the world's first satellite-based global air traffic surveillance system, announced today that it has finalized a long-term commercial data services contract with NAV CANADA, further demonstrating Aireon's continued progress towards transforming air traffic communications and helping to establish the global value of Aireon's service in the market.

Aireon, a joint venture between Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and NAV CANADA, will take advantage of the hosted payload space on Iridium NEXT, Iridium's second-generation satellite constellation, scheduled for first launch in early 2015. Aireon will provide space-based air traffic monitoring services as the new constellation becomes operational, with full capability expected by 2017.

Not only is Iridium a joint venture partner, but a significant supplier of the technology and the network platform for the Aireon SM service. As announced in June 2012, Aireon is expected to pay $200 million in hosting fees to Iridium for the integration and launch of Aireon's Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver payloads on each of its Iridium NEXT satellites. Iridium also expects to receive recurring data communications service fees from Aireon of nearly $300 million, or approximately $20 million annually once fully operational, over the life of Iridium NEXT, assuming Aireon continues to successfully expand beyond NAV CANADA to a global business. In addition to the nearly half a billion dollars in hosting and data fee revenue from Aireon, Iridium also expects to see significant potential value from retaining a substantial interest in the joint venture.

"Iridium has once again capitalized on the unique capabilities of our network to bring forth a revolutionary capability and a sizable new source of revenue for Iridium," said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium. "Aireon is a win-win for all parties involved, offering significant cost savings to the airlines, increasing visibility and flight routing for NAV CANADA and other air navigation service providers (ANSPs), and representing significant new revenue streams for Iridium."

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