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Iridium(R) Satellite, ProtectingAmerica.org and the American Red Cross Partner to Educate First Responders on Importance of Testing Satellite Phones
Date:4/17/2008

t Your Satellite Phone" Week is intended to ensure that first responders know how to use their satellite phones and that they are, in fact, ready for use. Iridium, the American Red Cross and ProtectingAmerica.org hope to raise awareness of what first responders and commanders can do to be better prepared prior to disasters.

"Routine testing of emergency equipment, including satellite phones is critical to any emergency preparedness planning," said Iridium board member Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and a two-term governor of Pennsylvania. "No phone is going to be effective unless users know how to operate it and the batteries are charged."

"Satellite phones have increasingly become the primary or backup communications tools during a disaster when cellular infrastructure and radio towers are down," said Matt Desch, chairman and CEO, Iridium Satellite. "Iridium is happy to have the assistance of ProtectingAmerica.org and the American Red Cross in spreading this important message to the first responder community."

The "Test Your Satellite Phone" Week initiative launched last year as a public service campaign to educate all satellite phone users about the importance of knowing how to use their phone and knowing that the phone is ready to connect when used. This has become increasingly more important as other mobile satellite phone providers have seen a drop in reliability and connection rates. Independent testing has verified that Iridium's first-time connection rate is better than 99 percent.

The "Test Your Satellite Phone" Week campaign asks all satellite phone owners to call a special number -- 00-1-480-752-5105 -- to test their satellite phones. Callers will hear a recorded message confirming that their call was completed and offering quick tips on proper handset usage. Iridium customers are not charged for air time on their satellite phone when calling this number; other satellite phone services may charge usage
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SOURCE Iridium Satellite
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