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). Active service is required to call 911 from an Iridium handset.
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.