FARGO, ND--(Marketwired - Aug 29, 2016) - Appareo Systems, LLC, and Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announce the release of technology that can equip motorized farm vehicles with terrestrial and satellite communication capabilities, enabled by the global Iridium® satellite network.

Appareo, a global leader in the development of innovative electronic and software solutions for advanced machine control systems and sensing equipment, has been working with Iridium to deliver wireless satellite connectivity for the products and systems it develops. Iridium operates the largest commercial satellite network, spanning the entire globe including polar regions. As part of a long-term development and supply agreement with Iridium, Appareo integrates the Iridium 9603 chipset -- the world's smallest commercial two-way satellite transceiver -- into a range of products. The company recently received certification from Iridium on a new device containing the Iridium 9603 chipset: a machine gateway designed in partnership with AGCO Corporation (NYSE: AGCO).

"We are excited to be a part of this key partnership, positively impacting the agriculture industry on a global scale," said Tim Last, vice president and general manager, M2M line of business at Iridium. "This agreement marks yet another landmark deal for the Iridium M2M team, embedding Iridium technology into a global OEM business. We couldn't be happier to be working with Appareo and AGCO, who are leaders in the expansion of communications technology in the agriculture industry."

AGCO, the world's largest OEM solely dedicated to the agriculture industry, is deploying communications technology at an unprecedented level. AGCO will utilize Iridium's connectivity to expand AgCommand®, its complete, end-to-end, wireless telemetry solution for remote precision agriculture and machine monitoring. The machine gateway will enable the farming community to have access to terrestrial and satellite connectivity on a global scale. This connectivity allows AgCommand® to collect actionable information that will enhance fleet management and increase productivity for farmers worldwide.

The gateway is a powerful computing platform that Appareo designed to provide a wide range of communications technologies: WiFi, Bluetooth, cellular, GPS, 433 MHz, CAN, and Iridium satellite. The device is built with a rugged enclosure for outdoor use and for mounting on heavy machinery. The gateway will always be on, meaning vehicles equipped with it will always be connected and collecting data. The device can collect and distribute real-time data, product and performance data, health and asset management data, location data, security and recovery data, in addition to remote diagnostics and the possibility for future predictive maintenance capabilities.

"We strive to break down barriers for our customers by developing cutting-edge technologies. No matter what the industry, the need to overcome the limitations of cellular connectivity is critical to conducting business in all parts of the world," said Barry Batcheller, CEO at Appareo. "Being an Iridium chipset integrator is the driver that enables us to engineer telematics solutions that are unparalleled."

AGCO is the first in agriculture to equip machines with connectivity on a broad, global scale. The company will be announcing the new capabilities later this week, and availability on select machines will start in early 2017 in some North American, European and Asia Pacific markets.

About Appareo
Appareo is a recognized leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions for aerospace and agriculture. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, Appareo creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both mobile and cloud-based components. The company is privately held, with world headquarters located in Fargo, N.D., and design offices in Tempe, Ariz. and Paris, France. All products are designed, developed, built and supported in the USA.

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 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.

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Diane Hockenberry