Iridium Satellite Phone Instructions

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Iridium Satellite Phone Instructions
Make sure you view the handset manual included in the package for full details on how to use your satellite phone prior to leaving for your trip. This is only a quick reference guide.

Placing a call:

  • Turn on phone.

  • Position the antenna so it stands in a vertical position and in full visibility.

  • Dial 2888 – country code – phone number. Then press the green OK key.

    • Ex. To call Cellular Abroad dial 2888 – 1 – 310 – 829 – 6878, then OK key)

  • You will hear a voice prompt asking you to enter your PIN code (located on your Prepaid Scratch Card).

  • Your call will be connected shortly.

Receiving a call:
When the phone is ringing, press the green OK key to answer the call.

Inexpensive calling to satellite phone:
It is often very expensive for callers to call you from a regular landline or cellphone. However, the caller can dial through Gorilla Mobile (1-800-881-3004 or for low-cost calls to satellite phones. When you sigh-up, use promotion code CELLAB1 to waive the $5.95 sign-up fee and receive $5 of FREE credit applied to your account!
Alternatively, they may call 1-480-768-2500 and have the call routed through a “Two Stage Dialing” platform which allows the call to be charged against the satellite phone’s pre-paid satellite phone minutes.

Dialing information:
A person dialing from the US to the satellite phone should dial 011-8816 (or 8817) and the eight digits of the satellite phone number. To dial from outside the US and Canada, the dialing sequence is normally, 00-8816 (or 8817). Some countries have different dialing requirements, but a call to a satellite phone is dialed the same as an international call with the 8816 (or 8817) acting as the country code.

Checking the balance:
Dial 2888 to check your remaining minutes. This is a free call.

Adding talk time:
To reach Cellular Abroad to purchase more talk time, please call 2881-1-310-829-6878 and we will read you a recharge PIN code over the phone, or email

SMS – Short Message Service (Text messaging):
The satellite phone receives unlimited free text messages of up to 160 characters each. The email address to the satellite phone number is (satellite phone number) Follow the instructions on the menu of the phone to write and send SMS messages.

Voice mail:
Voice mail service is included with the satellite service. Normal airtime charges will accrue while calling voice mail.
To access the voice mail,

  • Dial your own satellite phone number, 2881-8816, etc.

  • Press the * to interrupt the outgoing message and enter the last seven digits of the satellite phone number.

  • Follow the prompts on the voice mail menu.

You may also call 8816-629-90000 and follow the prompts to retrieve your messages.


  • Make sure the power is on.

  • Make sure the SIM card is inserted correctly.

  • **Check the antenna. Antenna needs to be pushed in all the way (not flopping around). The antenna needs to be fully extended, and calls need to be made in clear line of sight to the satellites – you must be outdoors.

  • Check the signal strength meter. If signal is weak, move to an open space with clear line of sight. Force registration can be done via the phone by pressing the up arrow key, then pressing the 8 key. This will manually register the Iridium phone with the satellite system.

  • Make sure there is no error message.


  • Verify all of the above.

  • Check the ringer. Verify that the ringer is not turned off. Press the menu key. Then scroll to ‘Phone set-up’. Press OK.

  • Press menu key again, scroll to Adjust Ring Volume, then press OK. Press up arrow to increase volume and down arrow to decrease volume.


  • Searching – The phone is attempting to establish connection to the satellite network.

  • Rotate Antenna or Orient Antenna – You will hear a tone when you see these messages. Extend the antenna upward and make sure you have a clear line of sight to the sky.

  • Registering – Your phone is registering with the network. When the process is complete, you will see Registered.

  • Insert Card – Power off your phone, make sure your SIM card is inserted properly, then power your phone on again.

  • Check Card – This indicates that the SIM card is damaged or inserted incorrectly.

  • Access Denied/Unregistered SIM – This indicates the service to the Iridium handset has been denied.


  • Not Available – The battery meter doesn’t appear because the battery is not installed. The phone is operating on external power.

  • Charging Battery – The battery is being charged. If the phone is powered on, the battery icon flashes. If the phone is off, the battery icon does not appear.

  • Fast Charge Completed – The battery has completed charging. The battery icon stops flashing.

  • Invalid Battery – You have an unapproved battery inserted in your phone. You may not recharge the battery.


  • All wireless devices are susceptible to RF (radio frequency) interference from other wireless devices. This problem is especially evident when numerous antennas and broadcasting devices are located within close proximity to each other ie. On a shipping vessel.

  • An Iridium handset within 10 meters to 52 meters of an operational non-Iridium Satellite terminal (including all types of non-Iridium satellite dishes and antennas) will likely experience degraded performance. The specific position of the terminal in relation to the Iridium handset will determine the amount degradation that might be expected.

  • Symptoms of RF interference often resemble those that arise when an Iridium phone is being operated with an obstructed view of the sky. Some of these symptoms include:

    • Erratic or no signal strength indicators

    • Dropped calls

    • Warbled voice

    • Iridium logo missing on the LCD

  • These symptoms may be intermittent or persistent depending largely on the interference source, distance, strength and frequency of broadcast.

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