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Iridium Satellite Doubles Its Business Over 2004

Announces Huge Growth At NBAA

Wednesday at the NBAA 2005 Convention in Orlando, Iridium Satellite reported that it continues to experience rapid growth in the aeronautical satellite communications sector. According to the global mobile satellite communications carrier, aviation business for Iridium more than doubled in 2005.

Iridium reported the number of aircraft fitted with its equipment has grown by more than 100 percent during the last 12 months. Iridium subscribers in the aviation market recently surpassed 5,000. In addition, the number of aircraft fitted with Iridium-based data systems has grown 200 percent in the last 12 months, according to a company release.

"The aviation sector is a core and growing market for Iridium," said Don Thoma, executive vice president of Iridium Satellite LLC. "Our rapid growth in this market is largely due to the efforts of our strong network of value-added partners and service providers in the aviation industry worldwide."

During 2005, Iridium's selling partners signed up a number of large accounts. They include airlines such as El Al; fractional jet services such as NetJets, PT Travira Air, Caribbean Sun and Caribbean Star; and helicopter fleets such as Med-Trans Helicopters, Cougar Helicopters, Inc., EagleMed Air Ambulance Fleet, AirEvac Life Team and MedSTAR.

"We provide a unique value proposition to the aviation market," said Thoma. "Iridium is the only mobile satellite communications network with worldwide pole-to-pole coverage, providing a wide range of cost-effective voice and data solutions for air-to-ground and air-to-air communications. We have seen a major shift in the type of Iridium user over the past year as more air transport carriers and specialized aviation operators use Iridium for operational communications and flight-following."

Thoma noted that while voice calls continue to account for a large percentage of Iridium's total traffic, data is increasing at twice the rate of voice calls through the satellite network.

"Our customers are learning that Iridium's short-burst data service provides a unique global solution for flight-following, messaging, Out-Off-On-In (OOOI) reporting and remote systems monitoring," he said.



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