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News

Iridium Reminds Users Of The Need To Regularly Test Satellite Phones

Iridium : 25 May, 2010  (Technical Article)
Test Your Satellite Phone Week initiative launched by Iridium ahead of the US National Hurricane Preparedness Week in a move to encourage emergency services users to adopt good practices for testing satellite based communications equipment
Iridium Communications announces the launch of its fourth annual “Test Your Satellite Phone” (TYSP) Week initiative, reminding users to make sure their satellite phones are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice when natural or manmade disasters strike.

“First responders, emergency relief and recovery workers, and organizations with international operations depend on Iridium satellite phones for vital communications in the aftermath of disasters because we offer reliable, global service in an easy-to-use and extremely mobile handset,” said Don Thoma, executive vice president, marketing, for Iridium. “That’s why we take this opportunity each year to encourage our customers to check out their satellite phones, to ensure batteries are fully charged and phones are working properly, and to review operating procedures for making and receiving satellite calls.”

“If you’ve been deployed to respond to a disaster and you discover your battery is depleted or you can’t remember dialing procedures, your mission can be seriously hampered,” added Thoma. “It sounds straightforward, but we hear from users all the time that, in the heat of the moment, they simply forgot to test their phone, which is why we launched Test Your Satellite Phone Week four years ago,” added Thoma.

Iridium subscribers can call a toll-free number (00-1-480-752-5105) on any satellite phone to verify proper operation. Callers will hear a recorded voice message confirming they completed the call successfully and offering refresher tips for using the phones.

“International enterprises, such as hotel chains, air carriers, shipping companies, hospitals and financial institutions, as well as other non-governmental organizations, are increasingly aware of the importance of mobile satellite phones in business continuity and recovery plans,” said Ted Brown, President and CEO, KETCHConsulting. “Regular tests of mission-critical communications equipment, such as satellite phones, are an important part of every organization’s emergency preparedness planning.”

“We applaud Iridium’s public service effort to ensure that first responders and relief workers are fully prepared to roll into action when called into action,” said APCO International President Richard Mirgon. “Experience has shown that phone lines, Internet connections and wireless cellular networks are often destroyed or damaged, or just cannot handle the enormous surge in traffic following a natural or manmade disaster, and satellite phones become the only lifeline to the outside world.”

Tips and techniques for satellite phone use and testing include:

• Test your phone monthly.
• Keep the battery charged. For optimal performance, completely discharge before fully charging.
• Ensure SIM card is locked in place. Remove the battery to check if the tray is securely positioned and locked.
• Protect the phone’s antenna. Stow the antenna in the “down position” when not in use.
• Call outside with a clear view. Avoid obstructions to the sky and the horizon such as buildings and trees.
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