Iridium® Launches “Test Your Satellite Phone” Initiative
BETHESDA, Md. - June 18, 2008 - With the opening of the summer outdoor season in Alaska and Canada, Iridium® Satellite - the only supplier of mobile satellite services (MSS) in the Polar Regions - has launched a public-service campaign reminding users to test their satellite phones.
Similar to the popular bi-annual testing of smoke alarms, the "Test Your Satellite Phone" (TYSP) (www.testyoursatellitephone.com) initiative aims to educate satellite phone users about the importance of checking their batteries, reviewing their operating procedures and making sure all the needed accessory cables and chargers are available before going out into the field.
"Satellite phones provide an important safety link for the large number of people heading out into the wilderness, as evidenced by our eight-fold increase in traffic through the satellite network from Alaska and Canada in the summer months," said Don Thoma, executive vice president of Marketing, Iridium Satellite. "Now is the time to pull out satphones that may have been in storage throughout the winter to ensure that they are operating properly."
"While Iridium's first-time connection rate is better than 99 percent, other mobile satellite networks have experienced severe service disruptions with numerous dropped calls and poor connection rates," added Thoma. "This is why regular testing is an important safety precaution. If your satellite handset doesn't work reliably, it's better to find out now rather than after you're out in the field hundreds of miles from the nearest phone line."
The TYSP campaign urges all satphone users to call a special number (00-1-480-752-5105) for testing. Callers will hear a recorded message confirming that their call was completed and offering quick tips on proper handset usage.
Trade-Up to Iridium
Customers who discover problems when testing their phones should call their service provider for trouble-shooting. Globalstar customers wishing to switch to Iridium service may take advantage of the Trade-Up to Iridium program, which offers rebates of up to $700. Now extended through September 30, 2008, participating service providers, through the Trade-Up to Iridium program, will give a rebate of up to $400 on a new Iridium 9505A satellite phone to any customer turning in a Globalstar handset. They will also provide up to $300 in airtime credits when signing up for a qualified Iridium North American calling plan.
"The Trade-Up to Iridium promotion has been extremely successful, with thousands of Globalstar subscribers making the switch to Iridium's unmatched global coverage and high network reliability since its launch in February," said Thoma. "With such a phenomenal response, Iridium decided to extend the program another three months. We strongly encourage any subscribers who are dissatisfied with their current service to take advantage of this opportunity while it is still available."
To underscore its confidence in the reliability of the Iridium network, the company is also offering new customers the "Iridium Network Quality Guarantee," which promises credits of up to 100 minutes of airtime, as well as three months free subscription fees if the Iridium network fails to complete properly initiated voice calls from a new Iridium handset.
Critical Lifeline for Alaskan and Canadian Business and Government
"Iridium is the only MSS that provides coverage across 100 percent of Canada and Alaska," said Thoma. "Thousands of residents count on our satellite network in their daily lives."
World Communication Center (WCC), under a blanket purchasing agreement with the Western States Contracting Alliance, recently signed a three-year contract with the State of Alaska to provide Iridium mobile satellite products and services. WCC also provides Iridium voice, short-burst and circuit-switched data and tracking products and services to the Alaskan Marine Highway System, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Alaska National Guard, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska.
Likewise, the Ontario Land and Resources I&IT Cluster (LRC) recently purchased hundreds of new handsets, fixed terminals and in-vehicle kits from Roadpost, an Iridium service provider. These satellite communications systems will be used by clients of the LRC including the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA) to stay in touch while working in remote locations. Roadpost also provides a range of Iridium voice and data solutions to many other Canadian enterprises and government ministries from Newfoundland to Nunavut.
About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC (www.iridium.com) is the only mobile satellite services (MSS) company offering gap-free, pole-to-pole coverage over the entire globe. Iridium's constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites (and multiple in-orbit spares) provides critical voice and data services for areas not served by other communication networks. Iridium has been steadily growing subscribers at a double-digit annual rate since 2004, driven by increasing demand for reliable, secure, global communications. Iridium serves commercial markets through a worldwide network of more than 175 distributors, and also provides services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and other U.S. and international government agencies. 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 enable satellite-based innovations beyond communications. The company is headquartered in Bethesda, Md. and is privately held.