Satellite Phone Usage Jumps In Iraq
Satellite telephone usage in post-war Iraq is on the rise as U.S. and coalition forces take control of the country, with thousands of users making more than 1 million calls a month, according to satellite phone service provider Globalstar.
Much of Iraq’s telephone system was severely damaged during the recent war and, while work is planned to restore these services, it likely will take years before all of the networks are fully functional again. As a result, the number of satellite phones being used in Iraq skyrocketed from a relative handful prior to the war to 10s of thousands a few weeks later, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Globalstar.
Globalstar introduced service in Iraq in mid-April. In the first week, more than 300,000 minutes of airtime were used. Coalition military forces, under an overall telecommunications service contract managed by AT&T [NYSE: T], have been particularly large users: in one application alone, Globalstar phones are being used by U.S. troops stationed in Iraq to make calls home.