Iridium Satellite LLC unveiled its smallest, most powerful satellite phone - the Iridium "9555" - at its annual Partner Conference in Miami, Fla. The innovative, all-new design of the 9555 offers a significantly reduced size, a more hand-friendly form factor, an intuitive user interface, and new features such as an internally stowed antenna. It is compact, light and easy to use, featuring a brighter screen, a speaker phone, improved Short Messaging Service (SMS) and email capabilities, and an upgraded mini-USB data port. The new phone is engineered to withstand and perform well in the world's most rugged, remote and industrial environments, including being water- and shock-resistant. Combined with the only communications network providing truly global coverage, the 9555 delivers the reliable, secure, real-time, mission-critical communications service that Iridium users have come to expect.
"The 9555 is yet another example of our continuing investment in our products, services and infrastructure," said Don Thoma, executive vice president, marketing, Iridium. "In designing the 9555, we believe we have responded to our customers' needs. In addition to delivering this sleek new handset, we also are known for excellent network reliability, which is why we offer the Iridium Network Quality Guarantee."
Iridium is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data communications solutions with complete coverage of the entire earth including oceans, airways and even Polar Regions. Iridium customers are organizations and individuals operating in some of the most remote and harsh regions of the world, from distant oil rigs to ships at sea and deserts. The Iridium 9555 utilizes the largest commercial satellite constellation in the world, consisting of 66 low-earth orbiting cross-linked satellites, and operates as a fully meshed network with in-orbit spares.
"The 9555 is, by far, the phone that first responders will want to have on hand for backup emergency communications in case of natural or man-made disasters," said Thoma. "Iridium phones are the only handsets that can be used in absolutely any location, in any condition, instead of cellular, landline or radio services that can become inoperable when towers go down or telecommunications infrastructure is compromised. Since the 9555 is lightweight and simple to use, it will be the satellite phone of choice for emergency workers and customers in other remote environments such as the open seas, on rugged industrial sites, and in extreme travel scenarios."
"To help us live up to our mission of 'safely bringing the beauty and excitement of adventure to those who pursue it,' we have long relied on Iridium phones during our expeditions," said Mark Gunlogson, president, Mountain Madness, one of the world's top mountain guide services. "Now, having a smaller, lighter phone that still provides that critical lifeline will be a welcome addition to our backpacks as we travel across the globe."
The 9555 design includes a menu-driven interface, making it very user-friendly for customers. Soft keys are utilized to allow for flexible menu choices and ease of navigation. Key features of the 9555 handset include:
* Lighter weight design - 27 percent lighter than 9505A handset
* Compact - 30 percent smaller than 9505A handset
* Internally retractable antenna for compact carrying
* Illuminated, weather-resistant keypad redesigned for ease-of-use
* A menu configurable in any of 21 languages
* Enhanced functionality for improved integration of messaging (short email and SMS)
* Additional address book fields for more phone numbers, email addresses and notes
* Programmable international codes for automatic dialing
* Built-in help function
* Integrated speakerphone
* Mini-USB data port
* Standby time up to 30 hours
* Talk time up to 4 hours
The 9555 handset will be available from Iridium service partners starting in November 2008.