Iridium Extends Strategic Relationship With Harris Corporation With a
Complementary Hosted Payload Deal for Iridium NEXT
Iridium Continues to Enable Innovation and Challenge the Boundaries of
MCLEAN, Va., April 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc.
(Nasdaq:IRDM) announced today it has signed an agreement with Harris
Corporation (NYSE:HRS) to enable the use of expanded hosted payload space on
the Iridium NEXT platform, Iridium's second-generation satellite constellation
that is scheduled for launch beginning in early 2015. This deal marks yet
another example of the innovation and leadership Iridium has demonstrated in
hosted payloads through Iridium NEXT.
The agreement provides for "hosting fees" for Iridium NEXT resources that will
be utilized when launched into orbit on Iridium's new satellites, further
extending the ongoing partnership between the two companies.The amount of
hosting fees could be up to $45 million depending on Harris securing contracts
with customers, and on the final configuration and resources utilized. The
total amount won't be finalized until all payloads are launched on Iridium
NEXT, scheduled to be complete in 2017.
The hosting fees will be paid to Iridium over the next four years as the
Iridium NEXT constellation is built and launched. The agreement also allows
for data service fees to Iridium to provide data transport and payload
management services each year their payloads are operational during Iridium
NEXT's lifetime, which could be to 2030 or beyond. Iridium also expects to
generate additional incremental revenues beyond Aireon and the Harris payload
as other capabilities of the Iridium NEXT platform are utilized.
"This is another important milestone for Iridium as we complete our vision for
hosted payloads on Iridium NEXT.It realizes a once-in-a-generation
opportunity to share our unique network with other customers and applications
while we renew and expand our communications services for the future," said
Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. "Finalizing this agreement deepens our relationship
with Harris, who has been a fantastic technology partner for Aireon, and
allows Harris to support other applications for their customers at a fraction
of the cost of what they would have to pay to develop and launch
independently. This opportunity reinforces the power of the Iridium^® network
and is a testament to our continued vision for added capabilities on Iridium
NEXT beyond our core mission."
In June 2012, Iridium announced the creation of Aireon LLC, a joint-venture
with NAV CANADA to fly a unique payload on the Iridium NEXT constellation that
will track commercial aircraft and provide that information in near-real time
to air traffic controllers. Harris was selected by Aireon to supply the
payload, and is building 81 payloads that will be integrated with Iridium's
new satellites to receive the "ADS-B" position signals from aircraft,
including those over the world's oceans, poles, and remote regions where there
is currently no surveillance of aircraft.After finalizing the requirements
for the Aireon^SM system, additional hosted payload space remained available
to support the other missions that Harris will now utilize.
"Harris and Iridium are creating great customer opportunities for hosted
payloads, and we are expanding our relationship to bring Iridium-based
communications solutions to our customers in many market segments," said Bill
Gattle, Vice President of Aerospace Systems at Harris GCS."We have made great
progress to date on the Aireon payload project, and we are now very excited to
work with Iridium on using the additional space on board to address other
customer applications. Iridium NEXT offers a rare opportunity to leverage a
global constellation of satellites for multiple applications. This new hosting
agreement gives us a chance to showcase how the Harris AppSTAR^TM
reconfigurable payload platform can provide responsive on-orbit capabilities
to customers as hosted payloads on very aggressive schedules."
With this agreement, Iridium has enabled full utilization of the hosted
payload resources it made available to the industry when it specified the
Iridium NEXT system in 2007. Iridium NEXT consists of 66 operational
satellites, plus six in-orbit spares, and nine ground spares that are
scheduled to completely replace Iridium's current network by 2017. Iridium
created the specifications and interfaces for one or more hosted payloads to
provide a platform for other applications to "piggyback" on Iridium's new
satellites as they are launched into space.
There has been considerable interest from public and private entities who
recognized the benefit in placing Earth and space observational sensors,
communications packages, and other unique payloads on a low-Earth orbiting
system operating only 780km above Earth, with interconnected satellites
minimizing the need for ground stations around the world.In addition, hosting
alternative payloads has created a new business opportunity for Iridium that
will likely generate significant new data service revenues over the life of
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network
that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people,
organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with
its ever-expanding ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an
innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require
truly global communications. The company has a major development program
underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium
Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common
stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM.
For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions,
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 the development and deployment of the Iridium NEXT system, the
receipt and amount of potential hosting fees and the development and
deployment of the Aireon system. 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 the health, capacity and content of Iridium's current satellite
constellation, the development of and transition to Iridium NEXT, Harris's
ability to secure contracts with customers for the hosted payload space and
Aireon's ability to successfully develop and deploy the Aireon system, 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, 2013, filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 5, 2013. 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.
CONTACT: Investor Contact:
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7570
Iridium Communications Inc.
+1 (703) 287-7476
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