New Zealand Ministry of Health Equips Personnel with Iridium® Services for Emergency Backup Communications
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Iridium Satellite LLC
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD, 20817
Press release date: October 8, 2007
Mobile Satellite Services Will Ensure Continuity of Operations to 21 District Health Boards If Communications Infrastructure Is Disrupted
BETHESDA, Md. - October 8, 2007 - As Iridium® Satellite experiences its continued expansive growth in the area of emergency communications, the company announces that the New Zealand Ministry of Health will be relying on its satellite services to augment land-based telecommunications capabilities. In addition, having Iridium satellite phones will help The Ministry ensure continuity of operations in the event of natural or manmade disasters. The Ministry is purchasing the Iridium handsets and airtime through Wright Technologies, a New Zealand-based hardware and air time solutions provider which purchases through Applied Satellite Technologies. The Ministry manages health emergencies nationally and coordinates wider health service response with other agencies. Its current voice communication capabilities rely on land-based commercial facilities which are not always available and functioning during natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis. The Ministry turned to Wright Technologies and Iridium to provide staff with a service that could be utilized in all cases, under any circumstances.
"As a vital national health services coordinator, it is critically important that we have redundant layers of backup communications," said Steve Brazier of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. "The satellite telephones will ensure uninterrupted communications if conventional systems are disrupted by natural or manmade disasters. As a satellite service that is not dependent on telecom or cellular infrastructure, Iridium is the ideal choice for ensuring essential communications during any type of crisis."
Wright Technologies will be providing the 9505A Iridium handsets for the country's 21 District Health Boards. The Iridium 9505A satellite phone is small and resistant to water, dust and shock, making it an ideal solution for industrial or rugged conditions. Key features of the handset are its quick access interface, data capability, 21 language choices for prompts and hands-free capability.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health will also be utilizing the Beam Communications IntelliDOCK 9505A Docking Stations with the handsets deployed in the regional health offices. The IntelliDOCK enables the integration of the terminal to a PBX system allowing the Iridium service to be accessed directly from a standard telephone connected to the PBX.
Michael Capocchi, general manager of Beam Communications, said, "Beam is pleased to be working with Wright on this opportunity. The Beam Docking Station provides a quality solution for emergency communications, enabling integrated fixed services with the convenience of handheld services at anytime."
The 9505A handsets have been delivered to all of the health board locations.
Iridium and Wright Technologies are working closely with officials in New Zealand to ensure their staff is properly trained in usage of the 9505A handset, and that they are fully prepared to communicate in times of need.
"Iridium is the logical satellite service of choice for this important health services provider," said Greg Ewert, executive vice president, Iridium Satellite. "Recent disasters have revealed the extreme vulnerability of fixed landlines and cellular phone networks, leaving first responders in affected areas unable to communicate with each other or with the outside world. Since Iridium is independent of land and cellular-based systems, we're proud that The Ministry is looking to Iridium as a key component in disaster preparedness and emergency planning in a way that is efficient and cost-effective."
About Iridium Satellite
Iridium Satellite LLC (www.iridium.com) is the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions with complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and Polar Regions). Iridium delivers essential communications services to and from remote areas where no other form of communication is available. 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 provides service to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company also designs, builds and sells its services, products and solutions through a worldwide network of more than 150 partners.
About Wright Technologies
Established in the early 1950s, Wright Technologies Ltd (www.wrights.co.nz) is a premier supplier of marine and land-based electronic equipment and services. Wright Technologies supplies a wide variety of satellite and other communication and navigation systems for yachts, fishing vessels, larger ships and ports, as well as providing maritime and land-based defense solutions. Wright's factory-trained and professional service staff is based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand. They provide a 24-hour service and can fix or diagnose all electronic problems on board vessels. Service personnel are available to work in any location in New Zealand, the South Pacific and further afield.
About Beam Communications Pty Ltd
The Beam subsidiary was established in late 2002, making a substantial investment in the development and manufacturing of remote satellite communications solutions for the global telecommunications market. Beam became the first company to design and manufacture a fully compliant POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) emulation system for the Iridium Satellite network.
Now one of the leading global manufacturers of Iridium-based satellite communications equipment, Beam offers the widest range of Iridium solutions across all market segments, and is particularly focused on the exploitation of the newly released Iridium data module targeted at asset tracking and other applications. Beam prides itself on its ability to develop broad market applications as well as specific dedicated products and solutions. For more information, please visit www.beamcomm.net.