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The Top 10 Reasons to Own Iridium Satellite Phones

10)  Global coverage:  There simply is no other satellite phone that offers coverage over every square foot of our big blue planet.  Iridium works everywhere!

9) Network reliability: At any time there always one, usually two, and frequently three satellites overhead.  That means that no matter where you are, odds are you will pick up the network and get calling pronto.

8) Many options:  Iridium has a couple of handheld phones to choose form as well as Vale-Added partners that build fixed phones, docking stations, specialty products – all kinds of solutions for whatever you need.

7) A full kit: When you buy an Iridium phone, it comes with a wall charger with international plugs, a car charger, phone case, mag-mount antenna, antenna adapter, hands free and a User Guide.  It is the most complete handheld phone kit available

6) Tough guy, eh?  The Iridium 9575 phone is the first mil-spec phone built to take the harshest abuse.  It is designed to withstand shock, water and dust.  My teenagers cannot break it.

5) Built-in GPS: Iridium is the only provider that offers GPS tracking capability and an SOS panic button.  Think about the lives put at risk looking for lost hikers (for example), which could easily be found at the press of a button.

4) Value-Added Service Providers: In most cases when you buy an Iridium phone, you’ll receive it in a box and you have to set it up; kind of a pain, but not too bad if you are setting up just one phone.  A nightmare if you are setting up 20, 50, 80 phones.  Providers like GlobaFone of Portsmouth, NH will set up and assemble your phone so you can use it right out of the shipping box.

3) Resources to learn how to use the phone: There are at least a dozen videos that demonstrate how to use your Iridium phone to make and receive calls and voicemail.

2) Pooling airtime: Iridium is the only network under which your Service Provider can create a custom pooled airtime plan.  Many do not, but it is important for you to know it is possible and if your provider doesn’t pool airtime that is a choice they make that costs you more money.

1) Piece of mind: You have an Iridium satellite phone.  You have the most reliable satellite phone with the broadest coverage in the world.

Of Chicken Hats and Satellites

I admit it – I have a chicken hat.  I’ve not had it long so I haven’t worn it much (yet!). There is a connection to my chicken hat and Satcom.

I got my chicken hat because I am a volunteer at the FIRST Robotics Championship that took place last weekend in St. Louis. MO.  I served as the Pit Announcer, letting the teams know about logistical information, spare parts requests and even signing the teams out of the Pit at night (the Pit is where the teams work on their robots before and after competitive matches).  First of all (bad pun), you have to go to www.usfirst.org and check out the amazing world of robotics competitions.  Dean Kamen founded FIRST Robotics 20 years ago – FIRST stands for: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and the annual robotics competition draws hundreds of teams from around the world.  Teams that attend have won a regional competition or another award.  Call it the “brain-i-ac” Olympics where teams help each other before they compete against each other (called Co-Operation) and the winners are an alliance of three teams where ‘gracious professionalism, safety and fun’ are the ruling mantras.  You’ve never seen anything like a FIRST Robotics competition, I promise, and I urge you to get your kids involved.  Not so coincidentally, GlobaFone sponsors Team 131 CHAOS from Central High School in Manchester, NH.  So back to my chicken hat….

Team 3932, the Cockadoodle Dominators from Chickasha, OK gave me one of their special chicken hats.  You can see a story about the team here.

Okay, FIRST Robotics is really cool and I have a chicken hat.  So how is this related to Satcom?  Simple.

Satellites are small tin cans, or big tin cans flying around the planet making communications available where there is no terrestrial infrastructure.  That is amazing.  FIRST Robotics is amazing.  But that is not the point.  One must wonder, which parts of the Satcom infrastructure and ecosystem were born of a ‘what if?’ moment by a brilliant mind, such that you find within the FIRST teams?  FIRST alumni go on to do all kinds of great work and Satcom systems are the brainchildren of such lofty thinking.  In addition, some of the major FIRST Robotics sponsors include Boeing, BAE systems, NASA, SAIC, Intel, the Air Force and other high tech leaders.  Is there a connection?  You bet!  These organizations understand that these kids – FIRST Robotics alumni – are the among the pioneers of the technology of the future.  While their organizations will benefit from having FIRST Alumni as employees, we all benefit from those types of relationships.  I have no specific way to know, but I would argue that developments in Satcom are a result of the brain-i-ac genre –  ‘What If?’, or as I call it “let’s find out’ thinking.

So all hail FIRST Robotics, Chicken Hats and Satcom.  All three are amazing and speak to the ingenuity of innovative thinking.

Iridium Reaches Finance Agreement

There has been much speculation in recent years and months regarding ‘s future. Given the unfortunate issues with Globalstar, would Iridium’s satellites face the same fate? Will Iridium be able to attract enough investment to finance the NEXT constellation with the $2.7 Billion price tag?

In June announced it had reached an agreement with Coface, the French financing entity to secure $1.8 Billion of the funding required.

On Monday, announced that they have signed a definitive Coface Facility Agreement to finance Iridium NEXT. This is great news and will serve to squelch the naysayers. The facility is being made through nine banks, and will provide up to $1.8 billion in financing. The funding under the Facility is subject to customary closing conditions, which are expected to be met shortly.

According to an Iridium release:

“The credit facility consists of two pro rata tranches. One tranche of up to $1.537 billion will bear a fixed interest rate of 4.96% per annum. The second tranche of up to $.263 billion will bear a variable interest rated based on LIBOR¹ plus 1.95% per annum. Based on the current six-month LIBOR, the interest rate on this tranche would be 2.41% per annum. The repayment period of seven years begins following substantial completion of the Iridium NEXT launch program, which is expected to occur in 2017.”

This development is good news indeed, and while the full impact may not be felt in ’s share price immediately, as we progress towards the key milestones in satellite development, build and launch, we speculate that the stock will reflect the more optimistic reality; that Iridium NEXT will indeed fly.
 

Iridium is now Iridium Communications

On September 29, 2009, and GHL Acquisition completed the transaction to create Iridium Communications Inc. now traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol IRDM.

“This is an important milestone in the life of , as we take the first critical step toward securing the funding required for development and launch of our next generation satellite constellation, becoming a public company and establishing the transparency expected of a company that serves the critical interests of businesses globally,” said Matthew J. Desch, chief executive officer.

“Iridium is a strong company and an innovative competitor,” said Robert H. Niehaus, chairman of the board of directors of Iridium. “Today, with the close of this transaction, has a market cap of more than $785 million and a strong balance sheet with substantial cash. It marks the beginning of a very exciting time in the life of this very dynamic company.” 

END OF GOVERNMENT YEAR IRIDIUM 9555 SALE

Non Governmenet can also buy at special pricingThe Federal Government’s fiscal year ended September 30 and a new budget and new spending began October 1st.  As Federal Agencies allocated the last of their 2009 budgets,  made an unprecedented offer that will help Agencies stretch those budget dollars.  Due to the response, we’re extending the special pricing!  Place your phone order by October 31:

Your Federal Government price will be $1,425!
The non-government price will be just $1,525!

And, this is an important fact you need to know about this special offer: These prices are not for a ‘phone in a box’, these prices are for the legendary kit:

A fully charged phone
The SIM card inserted
The PIN code removed
The phone labeled with the phone number
The phone tested by making a test call
All packed in a padded nylon bag with all the accessories

The kit allows you to use your phone straight out of the shipping box, no time-wasting un-packing and setup.  So that’s the deal:
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  $1,425 for Government complete kit, $1525 for non-government.

 If you have special requirements and circumstances, we will work with you.  And you can use a credit card to place your order.   Please call us at 800-826-6152.

 

Iridium OpenPort Wins Award

Global Telecoms Business (GTB) has awarded its 2009 GTB Innovation Award to for excellence in Wireless Network Infrastructure Innovation. The award recognizes the groundbreaking

system, the world’s first and only global high-speed voice and data service for the maritime market. OpenPort has a small, light weight, omni-directional antenna array can be quickly installed on any convenient on-deck location. It does not require a stabilization platform and is virtually maintenance free. With no moving parts, the array improves uptime, lowering the total cost of operations. delivers up to three phone lines for simultaneous use and features always-on data with speeds up to 128 kbps – on an all-IP backbone.

Test Your Satellite Phone!

Coinciding with the National Hurricane Preparedness Week, ‘Test Your Satellite Phone Week’ ensures your phones are working and will be ready when you need them.

Call the testing hotline at +1-480-752-5105.  Callers will hear a recorded message confirming that their call was completed and it will also offer quick tips on proper handset usage. This is a free call to Iridium subscribers.

If you have a phone from another satellite networks ask them the cost before you call.