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IRIDIUM ENHANCES GLOBAL PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM AND SERVICE; NEW 'DUAL MODE' IRIDIUM PHONE TO COMPLEMENT EXISTING CELLULAR SYSTEMS

IRIDIUM ENHANCES GLOBAL PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM AND SERVICE; NEW 'DUAL MODE' IRIDIUM PHONE TO COMPLEMENT EXISTING CELLULAR SYSTEMS
 LONDON, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium, Inc., the Motorola affiliate, today announced it will strengthen the system's service and marketability by creating sales and distribution channels for both the Iridium service and subscriber handsets through existing cellular operators worldwide.
 Officials of Iridium, Inc., and Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT), showed a prototype of a new "dual mode" subscriber portable handset that will work with both local conventional cellular systems and the Iridium system. Customers will need only one phone for both Iridium and their terrestrial cellular service. Three initiatives addressing concerns raised about the technical complexity of the Iridium system were announced as well.
 Iridium, Inc., also said it will offer capacity on a lease basis to INMARSAT members so they can develop, without additional new capital investment, their markets for hand-held cellular services for maritime and aeronautical customers, making Iridium a complement rather than a competitor to INMARSAT.
 The Iridium system is a proposed global personal communications system which combines Motorola's space technology with its terrestrial wireless communications expertise. Using low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, the system will be designed to provide worldwide, portable and mobile telecommunications using hand-held phones. Current plans estimate the launching of the Iridium system's constellation of 77 satellites to begin in 1994. It is planned that Iridium will function as an integral part of participating countries' public networks, and national authorities will retain complete control to regulate call authorization and tariffing.
 Robert W. Kinzie, chairman, Iridium, Inc., said: "We have revised the Iridium system to strengthen it in response to suggestions put forward by potential investors, cellular operators, INMARSAT member countries and future customers.
 We have added a number of features that should enhance the marketability of Iridium products and services; and we have revalidated the basic system and concept."
 "These changes -- in our service and our marketing plan -- increase the economic viability of the Iridium program to the benefit of customers, partners and investors around the world," Kinzie said.
 "Dual mode" Handset
 The new Iridium dual mode handset is designed to operate with both terrestrial cellular systems and the Iridium system. The Iridium handset will first scan for the subscriber's terrestrial cellular signal, and will go to the Iridium system only if there is no signal available from the local cellular operator.
 Kinzie said: "We believe the dual mode handset will greatly enhance our capability to market and provide the service. With the dual mode phone, Iridium will not be in competition with cellular operators. Rather, Iridium is complementary and should be an enhancement to any cellular system."
 "Existing terrestrial cellular operators should be strongly motivated to market Iridium to their cellular customers," according to Kinzie. "Worldwide terrestrial cellular subscribers are estimated to number in the area of 100 million by 2001. When Iridium becomes operational, cellular operators can offer Iridium as an integral part of their existing services. It will be a new source of revenue both from the provision of worldwide extended roaming service as well as the sale of new handsets," Kinzie said.
 Offer to INMARSAT and Its Members
 Iridium, Inc., plans to offer Iridium capacity to INMARSAT members so that they can develop their markets for hand-held cellular services by offering their maritime and aeronautical customers hand-held telephony, fax, data, paging and position determination, in addition to providing services over their existing INMARSAT facilities. The Iridium capacity will be offered on a lease basis so that INMARSAT and its members can get the benefits of LEO satellite efficiencies without having to make additional investment in new technology.
 Technical Complexity
 Motorola and Iridium have responded to concerns raised over the technical complexity of the satellite system with three initiatives that ensure the technology, which is generally accepted to be feasible by today's standards, will be integrated on time and on budget. These are: stringent requirements with all industrial partners regarding design and manufacturing quality; use of a simplified TDMA cellular design; and planning to use a combination of the most reliable space launch systems in the world to place a number of Iridium satellites into orbit each launch.
 Representatives at the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC '92) in Torremolinos, Spain, will be considering allocation of sufficient spectrum with the right characteristics for LEO mobile and personal communications satellites and systems such as Iridium. The United States delegation to WARC has indicated its intention to propose this allocation for LEO systems at WARC.
 Iridium, Inc., is an affiliate of Motorola, Inc., one of the world's leading providers of electronic equipment, systems and services for worldwide markets. Motorola products include two-way radios, pagers, cellular telephone systems, semiconductors, defense and aerospace electronics, automotive and industrial electronic equipment, computers, data communications and information processing and handling equipment.
 -0- 1/16/92
 /NOTE: Iridium is a trademark./
 /CONTACT: Shelagh Lester-Smith of Motorola, London, 44-71-357-5555; or Mary Jo Manning of Hill and Knowlton, 202-944-5109, for Iridium/
 (MOT) CO: Iridium, Inc.; Motorola ST: IN: TLS SU:


MK -- DC004 -- 0384 01/16/92 09:51 EST
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Date:Jan 16, 1992
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