Alliance to Facilitate Development of Two-Way Satellite Data Solutions for Improved...

Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:05am EDT

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Alliance to Facilitate Development of Two-Way Satellite Data Solutions for
Improved Tracking, Messaging and Emergency Communications

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 17, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Satellite LLC
(Iridium) is joining with mobile satellite industry companies and the emergency
response community to form the ProTECTS (Promotion of Two-way Emergency
Communication and Tracking Systems) Alliance. The primary goal of the alliance
is to foster the rapid and orderly adoption of portable, two-way satellite-based
location, tracking and messaging technologies.

The alliance will provide a forum for addressing issues affecting the suppliers
and users of these vital safety devices. It also will seek to foster the
development and deployment of bi-directional satellite data solutions meeting
the requirements of the growing population of government and business
organizations using portable tracking devices, as well as the public-safety

"The ProTECTS Alliance will advocate for industry standards based on two-way
satellite data links," said Patrick Shay, vice president and general manager of
Iridium's data division. "Soldiers in the field, disaster relief workers,
pipeline inspectors in remote oil fields, helicopter pilots fighting forest
fires, scientific expeditions in the Antarctic and sailors on the high seas are
all relying on satellite location technology as a critical safety lifeline, and
the interactive bi-directional data link helps ensure their distress messages
are heard and that help reaches them."

"While one-way emergency beacons can provide a valuable aid to life-saving
services, experience has shown that they can have a high incidence of false
alerts triggered by accidental activations," observed retired Admiral James Loy,
former U.S. Coast Guard Commandant and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland
Security. "This places a heavy burden on first responders who must try to
verify, by independent means, the validity of the distress signal before
deploying rescue resources. The large number of distress alert messages makes it
impractical -- and prohibitively expensive -- for authorities to launch
search-and-rescue (SAR) operations without determining whether it is a real
emergency or an inadvertent activation."

To help further the goals of the ProTECTS Alliance, Iridium also is launching a
strategic initiative to focus its internal engineering, R&D, product
certification, activations, marketing and channel sales support resources to
assist Service Partners (SP) in bringing these personal safety products and
services to market.

While Iridium is the founding member of the ProTECTS Alliance, membership is
open to mobile satellite service (MSS) providers, software developers,
manufacturers, system integrators, resellers, distributors, industry experts,
SAR authorities, first responders, trade associations, regulatory bodies and
user groups. Charter members of the Alliance are: Active Web Solutions (AWS);
Argon ST; Backcountry Access, Inc.; Blackbird Technologies, Inc.; Blue Sky
Network, LLC; Cobham ACR Products; DMC Worldwide Corporation LLC; EMS Global
Tracking; IonEarth; KANNAD; L-3 Communications; McMurdo; NAL Research
Corporation; Paradigm Secure Communications Ltd; Premier GPS Inc.; Roadpost
Inc.; Solara Remote Data Delivery Inc.; Spidertracks Ltd; TracPlus Global
Limited; and Travel Safety Group LTD.

"Eleven Iridium SPs in 30 countries offer two-way short-burst data (SBD)
solutions for personal locating, tracking and messaging through Iridium
satellites," said Shay. "SBD represents a very efficient use of our satellite
capacity for tracking and monitoring everything from vehicles to construction
machines to individuals in remote areas."

About Iridium Satellite LLC

Iridium Satellite LLC ( is the only MSS company offering
coverage over the entire globe. The Iridium constellation of low-earth orbiting
(LEO), cross-linked satellites provides critical voice and data services for
areas not served by terrestrial communication networks. Iridium's subscriber
growth has been driven by increasing demand for reliable, global communications.
Iridium serves commercial and government markets through a worldwide network of
hundreds of distributors. The company's customers represent a broad spectrum of
industry, including maritime, aeronautical, government/defense, public safety,
utilities, oil/gas, mining, forestry, heavy equipment and transportation.
Iridium has launched a major development program for its next-generation
satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, which will result in continued and new
Iridium MSS offerings. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., U.S., and
is currently privately held.

CONTACT:  Iridium Satellite LLC
          Press Contact:
          Liz DeCastro
          + 1 (301) 571-6257

          Rhodes Communications
          Press Contact:
          Jim Rhodes
          +1 (757) 451-0602