Category Archives: Industry News

Resetting the time on your Iridium phone

As part of standard satellite network operations, Iridium periodically resets the Iridium system time count, in a process known as a “re‐epoch”. It consists of a one-time adjustment in Iridium time. Iridium plans to reset the system time on March 3rd, 2015 at 18:00:00 UTC (13:00:00 ET).   After the re-epoch, the time and date on your phone’s handset display will revert back to December 29, 2007 , 7:26:29 UTC.  The date and time will progress from there until you manually adjust your phone settings to the new Iridium epoch time.  You may reset your phone(s) at any time after March 3, 2015.  Iridium GO! devices will handle the time change automatically and do not require reprogramming.
If you need them, here are the reprogramming instructions:
If you have an Iridium 9555 or Iridium Extreme®, follow these steps:
  1. Dial *#99#2014051114235500#
  2. Press the green key
  3. Turn off/on their phone
 If you have an Iridium 9500, 9505 or 9505A you will need to set the updated time and date from your phone menu. The extended phone set‐up menu must be set to “On” (see page 137 of Iridium 9505A user guide, page 149 of the Iridium 9500 user guide, or page 139 of the Iridium 9505 user guide), then follow these instructions to set time and date:
Re-Epoch Instructions 9500, 9505, 9505A
If you have any questions or need help, please call us at +1-603-433-7232

Iridium Satellite Re-Epoch Time Re-set

As part of standard satellite network operations, Iridium periodically resets the Iridium system time count, in a process known as a “re-epoch”. It consists of a one-time adjustment in Iridium time. Iridium plans to reset the system time on March 3rd, 2015 at 18:00:00 UTC.

For Iridium satellite phone users, this epoch change on March 3rd, 2015 will have no impact on service availability and the ability to successfully complete phone calls, SMS messages, or data services.

However, the appearance of the time and date will revert back to December 29, 2007 , 7:26:29 UTC on the handset display and will progress on this baseline until phone settings are adjusted manually by the user to the new Iridium epoch time. The user can reset their phone at any time after March 3, 2015. Iridium GO! devices will handle the time change automatically and do not require reprogramming.

For Instructions on how to manually adjust to the new time setting CLICK HERE

It Was Just another Day a Sea and Then Their Iridium Phone Saved Their Lives

We’ll call him Captain ‘Pete’ for this writing.  He has been a GlobaFone client for a number of years.  Two weeks ago I was in the office on a Saturday when one of my sales staff called to tell me an Iridium phone had been responsible for rescuing a client.  She had recieved an e-mail saying that the cliet and crew were on a Chinese freighter.   Of course I wanted to know the story, so here it is: Continue reading

FCC Issues Preliminary Approval for Globalstar To Use Its Spectrum for Terrestrial Service

The FCC issued preliminary approval for Globalstar to use its 2.4 GHz band spectrum for terrestrial mobile services. The company plans to use 11.5 MHz of previously-licensed S-band spectrum at 2483.5-2495 MHz, as well as the adjacent 10.5 MHz of unlicensed spectrum at 2473-2483.5 MHz. The FCC’s proposed amendment of rules on the use of this spectrum is now open to public consultation before it takes a final decision on the matter. The FCC said that Globalstar’s proposal to re-farm L-band spectrum will be addressed separately.

This means that Globalstar could, at their option, run a cellular-type service using their previously assigned satellite spectrum bands.  Or it could set Globalstar up as an acquisition candidate as the spectrum value increases.  This kind of decision has implications across the SatCom space.

Globalstar needs cash, not only to build new satellites to replace the eight launched in 2008, but also to update ground stations to run Gen2 services, and R&D to build a new phone that can run Gen2 services.   Globalstar says they can run ful network coverage with just 24 satellites – I find that hard to believe since the original design was for 48 satellites.  Even at 32 satellite I wonder, but at 24?  I don’t see how that would even work properly.

An increased spectrum valuation could run one of three ways:

  1. Nobody cares and Globalstar continues with business as usual (unlikely)
  2. They can leverage the increased value with some kind of cash infusion, upwards of a couple hundred million dollars and then they are on a pretty good road to hitting Gen2 services first.  The question then is: Will the $499 Globalstar phone remain or will the price increase as they look to recover the investment?
  3. The spectrum is perceived as so valuable that they become a takeover candidate and the spectrum is re-purposed for something other than Globalstar satellite vice and data services.  This is a real possibility and the demand for data increases and spectrum becomes scarcer.

This has put Globalstar in an interesting position, almost enviable, as they can partly ‘choose their own adventure’ as one of my choral directors say.  With Jay Monroe having invest a huge personal stake and still owning a large chunk of GSAT, it will be interesting to see what course of action Globalstar takes when as the action heats up.

Stay tuned for more…..

Iridium Announces Second-Quarter Results

Iridium Announces Second-Quarter Results

Iridium reported its financial reports for the second quarter.  Earnings decline from $.23/share to $.18/share.  Despite this decrease in its net income from last quarter, Iridium still produces, arguably the best product on the market.

Commercial revenue was up eight percent from last year’s comparable period.  Commercial voice and data subscribers increased five percent from last year as well.  The company has also added 11,000 voice subscribers during the second quarter.

Iridium’s voice and data solutions continue to improve situational awareness for military personnel. The company still has a strategic relationship with the U.S. Government customers. Voice and data earnings from government customers were down, due in part to the lower priced services.

The quarterly numbers will not impact the plans for the NEXT constellation and Iridium maintains its quality product, service and support.

Inmarsat, A Temporary Position For Alphasat

Inmarsat has announced that Alphasat has successfully reached its temporary post in geostationary orbit. Alphasat was launched on a Ariane 5 ECA launcher from French Guinea on July 25.

The satellite will remain in its current orbit for several weeks while Inmarsat, together with its Alphasat partner, the European Space Agency (ESA), continue in-orbit testing. this will include testing of all AlphaBus platform subsystems and the commissioning of its innovative digital processing L-band payload, in addition to the spacecraft’s’ four Technology Demonstration (hosted) Payloads (TDP)

The Few, The Bold The Daring

It was 65 years ago that Chuck Yeager piloted the Bell X-1 to break the sound barrier – a remarkable feat at the time.  Perhaps equally as remarkable was his flight Sunday at age 89, piloting an F-15 to repeat his milestone feat.  Perhaps around the same time, Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier in a record-setting free fall jump from 24 miles above the Roswell, NM desert.  People may opine on the mental state of such people but everyone must admire the sheer guts and will to do something that nobody has ever done before.  In 1947, jet propelled aircraft were still new so Yeager’s feat carried the same uncertainty of Baumgartner’s.  These are certainly not something that more than one or two people will ever do.  Or will they?  TBD.

 Such first and amazing achievements bring future innovation.  What did we learn from the Bell X-1 plane?  How did it’s flight impact the modern age of jets.  Did this impact the engineers’design of Concorde to account for the 6 in stretching of the fuselage during it’s near Mach 2 speeds?  What about the suit that Baumgartner wore? How will it impact future astronauts clothing?  What other uses of such a suit can be discovered?  What about the effects on his body?  How will is help us better prepare astronauts for longer distance flight at higher speeds?

 It is fascinating to see the potential ripple effects of ‘first-ever’ flights (think Wilbur and Orville).   While we can admire the people achieve them, and maybe more so the support staff on the ground, we can only wonder what future impacts are yet to be discovered from these remarkable events.  Our technology is impacted by the dreamers – the few magical people who are always asking ‘What If?’  Here’s a ‘what if’ – What If they never got to fly, to pursue their dreams?  Where would we be? 

We salute you – the Few, the Bold, the Daring.  The people whose pushing the envelope advance technology for the rest of us. 

Thanks for reading.