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General Iridium FAQs

Placing an Iridium Test Call

Iridium rental, postpaid, and prepaid customers can place a test free call free of charge. Testing your handset before travel, or periodically while stowed away is highly recommended to ensure your handset is fully operational when you need it. For those that don't use the handset often or for extended periods of time, it's recommended that your stow the handset at room temperature, away from cold, humidity and direct sunlight. It's good practice to power on your handset and fully charge the battery at least every 1-2 months.

Placing a test call is simple and once connected, you'll receive an automated greeting stating your test call is successful.


  1. Take your handset outside.
  2. Press and hold the power button to power on your handset.
  3. Extend your antenna and ensure you have a clear line of sight to the sky, preferably away from any large obstructions or heavy canopy.
  4. Wait for the handset to display "Registered". A green LED indicator will also be displayed indicating you have signal.
  5. Dial +1-480-752-5105 (press and hold 0 to obtain +) or dial 00-1-480-752-5105.
  6. Press the Green button to initiate the call.
  7. If your call is successful, you'll hear an automated greeting stating your call has been successfully connected.


Sending a text message to an Iridium handset

Using your cell phone, compose a new message.

  1. In the recipient field, enter the full Iridium phone number starting with a + or 00.
  2. I.e. +881623412340 / 00881623412340
  3. In the message field, enter your desired message and press SEND.


Checking prepaid minute balance on Iridium 9505A, 9555 & Extreme

Follow the steps below on how to check the prepaid minute balance from the Iridium 9505A, 9555 & Iridium Extreme.

Solution: Check remaining minutes

  1. The satellite phone must be registered with the Iridium network.
  2. Enter 2888 on the phone and press the green button. This will inform you of the number of minutes still available for use.


Calling 911 from an Iridium Phone

Iridum Subscribers can call 911 from within the United States. The territory, as defined by the FCC is: the 50 United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Iridium 911 services will not work in Canada. Canadian customer need to obtain local emergency numbers before leaving cellular coverage.

Here are some common Q&As:

Q: What happens when you dial 911 outside the territory? Will my 911 call still go through?
A: No. It will not transfer to the emergency call center. Your call will terminate to a switch message instructing you to hang-up and dial the emergency provider or your service provider directly.

Q: Does emergency 911 service need to be provisioned by a Service Provider for it to work?
A: No. Iridium will ensure that all applicable subscribers have this service available to them

Q: How does emergency 911 service work?
A: The caller dials ‘911’ from an Iridium handset. The call is sent to the Intrado emergency 911 call center. A trained professional answers the call, requests the nature of the emergency, the caller’s name, callback number and location. The operator identifies the most appropriate PSAP, contacts them, relays the information acquired and then transfers the caller. The caller is then connected directly to the PSAP. If the caller is not fluent in English, the emergency 911 call center has access to a Language Line Service that can translate the call.

Q: How does an Iridium subscriber access emergency 911 services from the handset?
A: Simply turn on the handset, rotate the antenna, press “9 1 1” and “ok”. If you are using a prepaid or crew calling SIM, you will still dial “9 1 1”. DO NOT dial the leading access numbers of “698” or “2888”

Q: Can you access emergency 911 services without a SIM card?
A: The FCC requires that mobile satellite service providers do not need to provide service for non-initialized handsets (handsets without a SIM).

Q: What happens if my call drops, is disconnected or I hang-up? Will the call center know my location and attempt to contact me?
A: If your call drops or is disconnected, even if you hang-up, before you were able to provide your MSISDN or location, the call center will not be able to call you back or locate you. If you provided your location, the call center will contact the appropriate PSAP and provide them with the information they had acquired. If you were able to provide your MSISDN, the call center will make up to three (3) attempts to call you back. They will still contact the PSAP with your information, even if they are unable to reach you. The call center will ask first for your location and then your callback number.


2015 Iridium Time Change (Epoch) for Iridium 9505A, 9555 & Extreme

Follow the instructions below to update the time settings of your Iridium 9505A, 9555 & Iridium Extreme due to the Iridium network time change/re-epoch. The Iridium GO! will handle the time change automatically.

Note: For Iridium Satellite Phone users, the planned epoch time change on March 3, 2015 will have no impact to service availability and the ability to successfully complete phone calls, SMS messages, or establish data services. However, the displayed time and date will revert to December 29, 2007, 7:26:29 UTC and will progress on this baseline until phone settings are adjusted to the new Iridium epoch time.

Please be advised, these instructions should completed after March 3, 2015 in order to display the correct date and time.

Solution: Restore Time Settings for Iridium 9555 & Iridium Extreme

  1. Dial *#99#2014051114235500#
  2. Press the green key
  3. Power handset off
  4. Power handset on
  5. Allow handset to register to the network
  6. Handset will now display the correct time
    • Note: If the time displayed is incorrect, check your time zone settings by proceeding with the following
  7. Press Menu
  8. Scroll to Setup and press Select
  9. Scroll to Time & Date and press Select
  10. Scroll to Select Time Zone and press Select
  11. Choose the desired UTC time zone and press Select
  12. Handset will now display the correct time

Solution: Restore Time Settings for Iridium 9505A

  1. Press Menu
  2. Scroll to Phone Setup and press OK
  3. Scroll to Set Time and Date and press OK
  4. Scroll to Set Home Time + Date and press OK
  5. Enter the current time in 24hr format and press OK
  6. Enter the current date (dd/mm/yy) and press OK
  7. Press and hold the C button to exit the menu


Iridium Voicemail Limits

If you have an Iridium Voicemail service on your Iridium Prepaid or Monthly Plan you will be able to store up to 50 messages in your mailbox at one time. These voicemail messages are limited in duration to one minute per voicemail message.