Home >> News: May 12th, 2010 >> Story
Satnews Daily
May 12th, 2010

Iridium... Rushin' To Russia

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) has announced an important advancement in its pursuit of regulatory compliance to enter the Russian market. In May of 2009, Iridium announced that it formed a company called, Iridium Communications Russia, OOO to pursue a license for providing MSS services in Russia.

For the second year, Iridium is exhibiting at Sviaz-Expocomm, Russia’s largest telecommunications industry trade show in Moscow, May 11-15. In April 2010, the Russian Government Commission Expert Opinion approved Iridium’s entry in to the Russian market. The Iridium low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellation covers the entire planet and provides services where no other means of communication exist. Iridium sees an opportunity to provide an essential service in Russia, particularly given the extensive, open land masses without telecommunications infrastructure in the country, in addition to Russia’s harsh climates and northern sea routes where only Iridium has coverage. Iridium is the only MSS service that works in the Arctic Regions, which is particularly important for maritime organizations that need to meet government regulatory obligations to have reliable long-range identification and tracking (LRIT) devices and distress safety systems on vessels. In addition, aircraft must rely on flight communications systems for safety while flying Polar routes.

Iridium offers Russian citizens living, working, and traveling in rural territories a reliable telecommunications service in order to stay connected. The company’s services are in demand in market sectors within Russia such as emergency response, civil government, oil and gas, mining, rail and internal waterways. At Sviaz-Expocomm 2010, Iridium is showcasing its innovative product portfolio, including the Iridium 9555(tm) satellite phone; Iridium OpenPort(r), an enhanced-speed maritime communications service; and the Iridium 9602(tm) short burst data transceiver that Iridium recently launched for global asset tracking and monitoring. The Iridium 9602 offers a smaller, lower-cost transceiver than what has been available on the market and offers the only global, low-latency, two-way satellite data communications service.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center has been a key Iridium partner since 2001 when the two companies signed a collaborative agreement to work together to advance the process to make Iridium services available in Russia. Khrunichev owns an Iridium gateway and discussions are underway for gateway modernization and operations. Iridium also plans to selectively expand its network of more than 200 global distribution partners by adding new service providers in the Russian market. The company’s partner ecosystem expansion plans will enable delivery of the full portfolio of Iridium products and services to the Russian market.