Iridium is a system based on 66 LEO satellites whose coverage is global and includes the Polar Regions: the largest constellation in the world of telecommunications satellites for private use. The "Iridium" project was announced by Motorola in 1990 with a simultaneous press conference from Beijing, London, Melbourne and New York. The name is inspired by Iridium, an element identified with the number 77 in the periodic table: the initial design in fact provided for the putting into orbit of 77 satellites. On November 1, 1998, with its 66 satellites, the Iridium network is completed and the service operational. The operator Iridium Communication Inc., is a publicly traded company located in Maryland, United States. Iridium is the only satellite phone system that supports voice and data communications to and from any point on Earth, including the Poles. The network architecture of the constellation guarantees good voice quality and great service reliability, so much so that it can be equated with terrestrial mobile communication.