Iridium Extreme Replacement
Satellite communications company Iridium recently instituted a replacement program for its Iridium Extreme satellite phones. Launched in September 2011, the rugged Iridium Extreme was the first sat phone with an SOS button. However, the company reported that some of the phones are having problems with their deployment sensor, reducing the phone’s performance, even with the antenna fully extended. The flaw also may result in the phones operating at power levels above the legal limits for radio frequency.
According to a statement from Iridium, the issue was traced to a manufacturing process that has been fixed, but “a significant number of shipped units may be currently affected.”
Anyone who purchased an Iridium Extreme 9575 prior to April 27, 2012, should contact their Iridium service provider to find out how to return the phone for a replacement. If you must use the phone before having it replaced, be sure to fully extend the antenna during all calls.
The Iridium 9555 sat phone is not affected by this issue.
For more information, contact Iridium at 480/752-5155 or www.iridium.com.
Practical Sailor is currently testing satellite communications devices, including Iridium phones, for a future report.