Alaska picks global satellite service

World Communication Center Inc. won a contract to provide global satellite voice and data communications to Alaska's state agencies, the company said today.

The year-and-a-half contract has options for up to five years. Its value was not disclosed.

WWC, a reseller of Iridium satellite telephones, pagers, and services, will help the state standardize its government and agency users by switching an all-Iridium global satellite phone system by October.

The state previously used services from Iridium Satellite LLC of Bethesda, Md., and Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd., a seller of satellite phone equipment and services based in Milpitas, Calif.

The companies supplied voice and data services for the more than 400 satellite phones currently in use in Alaska.

Alaska switched to WWC because the company offers less expensive and reliable satellite telephony services at high latitudes, said Julie Pannone, administration manager of the state's enterprise technology services.

The state is saving a minimum of 94 cents per airtime minute, she said.

In May, WCC received a five-year satellite communications schedule from the General Services Administration to supply Iridium satellite phones, services and accessories to all U.S. federal government agencies. The company's federal clients include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Peace Corps.

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