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July 2, 2007
BETHESDA, Md. -- Iridium(R) Satellite announces it has released a Request for Information (RFI) to potential partners interested in participating in the design, development and deployment of "Iridium NEXT," the company's next-generation satellite communications network. The Iridium RFI is the company's first official step toward the procurement of the NEXT system.
Today's Iridium constellation provides the only mobile satellite communications service covering the entire earth, with no service gaps, supplying voice and data communications for a wide range of users worldwide. With the RFI, Iridium is initiating its plan to design, develop, construct, deploy and operate its next-generation Iridium system, allowing the company to add new, enhanced services and to ensure that customers continue to enjoy the same level of high-reliability service provided today.
NEXT will maintain Iridium's unique "life line" attributes which so many of the company's customers count on - pole-to-pole coverage, security, availability and reliability. NEXT will also provide extended services beyond those offered today, from high-bandwidth data transmission to enhanced voice and short messaging services for commercial and government users. In addition, Iridium will engineer NEXT to support innovative space-based applications.
"We have formed a core internal team of industry experts, augmented by external consulting partners, to evaluate the key technical issues related to Iridium NEXT," said Joe Pizzicaroli, vice president and chief satellite operations officer, Iridium. "We are nearing completion of our initial technical analysis and are ready to engage the aerospace industry to help Iridium design, build, launch and operate the new constellation."
Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM)
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