Bethesda, USA: Iridium Satellite LLC has announced its first annual "Test Your Satellite Phone Week," starting May 21, 2007. According to the global satellite voice and data solutions firm, the idea behind the "Test Your Satellite Phone" week is to increase satellite phone user knowledge.
The week would also help users confirm their access to satellite phones before they're needed in an emergency. Set up along the lines of the popular bi-annual testing of smoke alarms, this testing week is the first in an annual campaign to ensure that first responders know how to use their satellite phones and that they are, in fact, ready for use.
The "Test Your Satellite Phone Week" coincides with the US National Weather Service's "National Hurricane Preparedness Week." In support of both week-long observances, Iridium hopes to raise more awareness of what first responders and commanders can do to be better prepared prior to disasters.
"Hurricane Katrina was a great example of why Test Your Satellite Phone Week is important," said Kim Fuller, emergency preparedness communications expert. "With landlines, cellular infrastructure and radio towers down, satellite phones were the only way to communicate. It is critical for first responders to have reliable and ready-for-use communication tools to be effective in response and recovery efforts."
"As more and more first responders and commanders turn to satellite phones as their primary or backup emergency communications tool, we want to make sure the users are trained and the phones are ready to go before they need to use them," said Matt Desch, chairman and CEO, Iridium. "We are encouraging our Iridium users, as well as all satellite phone users around the world, to take the important step of testing their phones regularly."
Iridium Satellite LLC is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and polar regions). The Iridium constellation consists of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO), cross-linked satellites and has multiple in-orbit spares. The constellation operates as a fully meshed network and is the largest commercial satellite constellation in the world. The Iridium service is ideally suited for industries such as maritime, aviation, government/military, emergency/humanitarian services, mining, forestry, oil and gas, heavy equipment, transportation and utilities.
Iridium also provides service to the US Department of Defense.