University of New Hampshire Nursing Department Travels to Ghana with Satcom Resources from GlobaFone

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Global Satellite Communication Provider Offers Complimentary Satellite Phone and Airtime for the Two-Week Humanitarian Trip

UNH Students with tribal chief at Kwamang

"We were able to use the satellite phone provided by GlobaFone during the seven-hour journey to our destination in Ghana,” said third year nursing student Lindsey Palmer.

GlobaFone, a leading multi-carrier satellite service provider, announced it provided a satellite phone and airtime to 15 University of New Hampshire (UNH) nursing students and two chaperones when they travelled to Ghana, Africa, from Thursday, January 5, to Monday, January 23, 2012, for a humanitarian mission. The students, who volunteered their time to assist and learn medical practices at area hospitals, were able to contact family members while in the region that has unreliable cellular service.

The trip was initiated by Gene Harkless, chair of the nursing department at UNH, in partnership with the Rural Health Project Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Africa, which is led by a biology professor at Eastern Connecticut University. The program’s mission is to improve the healthcare of his home village.

The Iridium 9505A satellite phone the students used is capable of up to four hours of continuous talk time and 30 hours of standby time before it needs to be recharged. The handheld allowed the students to contact family members in the United States without delay upon their arrival. This was especially important as the group arrived with no time to rent international cell phones. In addition, according to Harkless, the Ghana government performs power diversions, so electricity is not always readily available. This power restriction can affect not only land lines, but cellular towers as they require a power source.

“We were able to use the satellite phone provided by GlobaFone during the seven-hour journey to our destination in Ghana,” said third year nursing student Lindsey Palmer. The students’ family members were also able to send free text messages from the Iridium satellite phone website when they wanted to reach the students and have them return their calls.

“International cell phones are a great alternative for global communications when travelling abroad,” said Lou Altman, GlobaFone CEO. “In fact, we provide cellular rentals to our clients. However, global cell phones can have drawbacks as coverage can be erratic in hard to reach destinations. This is why it is essential to travel with a satellite phone when you want to make a call, especially for emergency situations. The phone we provided the UNH students for their humanitarian trip allowed the students to text and make calls to loved ones. When we heard about the trip through one of our employees, we didn’t think twice about offering the kids a satellite phone.”

GlobaFone of Portsmouth, NH, is an award-winning, leading service provider of satellite voice and data solutions to Federal, State and Local Governments, and corporate clients. GlobaFone solutions include five brands of satellite communications – Iridium, Inmarsat, Globalstar, Thuraya and VSAT. GlobaFone provides both satellite and cellular service for rent or lease with coverage across the planet. To learn more about their offerings visit

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Bridgette Springer
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