SOS alertsIridium offers emergency response service on satellite phone

Published 7 December 2011

Iridium offers free SOS service on its Iridium Extreme satellite phone; individuals who need emergency help can now maintain contact with an operator during the emergency rather than rely on one-way SOS alerting


Iridium Communications announced that the GEOS emergency response service is now available to Iridium Extreme satellite phone customers. The company says that at no additional cost to customers, it has integrated the GEOS service into the SOS button on the Iridium Extreme. Iridium Extreme was launched in September 2011, and it is the first satellite phone to offer an SOS button.  As part of the Iridium ForceSM vision for future personal mobile communications, this GEOS service is an enhancement to the phone’s location-awareness services available at launch.

The GEOS service is one of the many new innovations we are delivering to partners,” said Joel Thompson, vice president, product management, Iridium. “Iridium worked with a select group of portal providers who developed location tracking and messaging services for the launch of the Iridium Extreme. Since then, the Iridium Extreme has seen much greater demand from customers than we had anticipated and we wanted to provide them an additional level of protection. With the launch of the GEOS Emergency Response service, Iridium Extreme customers now have several options to manage their communications during an emergency situation. Since the SOS button is programmable, customers have the ability to use the GEOS service if their organization does not offer such a service. We wanted to ensure that anyone using the most rugged satellite phone on the planet had an option to reach a highly trained professional in an emergency situation.”

The company says the new feature proves peace of mind to lone workers and adventurers alike.  A press of the SOS button automatically dials the GEOS emergency response center, providing a connection to a live support representative. It used to be the case that people who had to call for help had to settle for just one-way SOS alerting, but now users can maintain contact with the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) during their emergency.

GEOS receives emergency alerts and notifies Response Search and Rescue (SAR) authorities via a global, 24/7/365 service through its IERCC in Houston, Texas. The IERCC has translation capabilities for up to 200 languages.

The GEOS IERCC has really raised the bar with respect to emergency response centers in terms of professionalism and reach,” said Mark Garver, CEO of the IERCC.  “We staff it with qualified first responders, such as firefighters, paramedics, former military personnel and law enforcement professionals. These personnel have handled emergencies first hand. That is why we can truly stand by our motto, ‘So Others May Live To Tell About it’.”

Iridium Extreme customers must register at to initiate this emergency response service.