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Verizon partners with NORAD to track Santa Claus

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Dec. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Santa Claus makes final preparations in the North Pole for his worldwide sleigh ride, Verizon’s holiday tech team is poised to track his whereabouts on December 24th. Partnering with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) for the 21st consecutive year, Verizon will provide support for a toll-free hotline that children can use to track Santa’s Christmas Eve journey.

Pinpointing Santa’s exact location and charting his supersonic reindeer is no easy feat. Verizon is bringing the strength of its network to support NORAD’s holiday operations, so that the hotline can stay up and running without interruption on Christmas Eve.

Verizon will tap its C-Band spectrum, which significantly expands the availability of higher-performing 5G connectivity, to provide NORAD’s commercial network with redundant Wi-Fi to ensure reliable coverage. The network America relies on is also supplying NORAD with equipment to bolster its efforts, including Cradlepoint routers, Wi-Fi jetpacks, a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) solution, and Verizon Frontline mobile assets for onsite support.

“This is a special time of year for children all across the world, and we’re proud to say that for over two decades, Verizon has supported the NORAD Tracks Santa Initiative,” said Maggie Hallbach, senior vice president, Public Sector at Verizon Business. “It’s an opportunity to collaborate with a longstanding partner in NORAD, while also bringing joy and tapping into the imaginations of children around the world.”

Receiving more than 130,000 phone calls last year, NORAD’s hotline needs a little help for the elves working the phones. That’s why Verizon’s Consulting Services team designed and deployed an Interactive Voice Response System (IVR), a call management system with error handling software and failover logic, to provide extra support. The smart, automated system can answer childrens’ questions and provide Santa’s flight path information in the event that call center volunteers are occupied with other callers.

“Twenty-one years ago, the Verizon Consulting Services team played a big role in designing and implementing the NORAD Tracks Santa IVR system,” said Tara Sunderraj, Vice President for Verizon Consulting Services. “Over the years, the IVR system has evolved, with our team incorporating smart tools that ensure every child has a chance to track Santa and hear from an elf.”

In addition to connecting and supporting the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline and operations center, nearly 900 in-person and over 200 virtual volunteers, which include Verizon employees, military personnel and other government and corporate partners, will come together to make the magic of NORAD Tracks Santa possible. Children can contact NORAD on Dec. 24 for answers to important questions such as:

  • Where is Santa?
  • When will Santa come to my house?
  • Where is Mrs. Claus during the journey?
  • What are Santa's favorite cookies?
  • How many elves are helping Santa?
  • Which reindeer is helping to lead the journey this year?

Tools to help track St. Nick
Here is information on the hotline along with other methods children and their families are encouraged to track Santa:

Phone: The toll-free hotline – 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) – will be in operation for calls beginning at 6AM (Eastern Standard Time) on Dec. 24. Program the hotline number into your Verizon phone as “NORAD Call Center.” On Christmas Eve, have your child use the voice command to call the NORAD Call Center, and enjoy NORAD’s Santa Tracker as volunteers do their best to answer your child’s pressing questions.

Online: On Dec. 24, families can also visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website with links to several ‘SantaCams’ on NORAD Tracks Santa’s social media pages that capture Santa’s flight through various locations around the world. To experience the magic throughout the day, visit the website on desktop or mobile for more fun activities. While Santa is in flight, children can see his whereabouts, play games, learn about holiday traditions around the world and dive deeper on how NORAD tracks Santa.

For more information on Santa’s whereabouts, visit or track via Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Be sure to also download the NORAD Tracks Santa mobile app (Apple or Google Play).

Other Verizon Holiday Activities

In addition to supporting NORAD Tracks Santa, Verizon also served as the presenting sponsor of the Dallas Holiday Parade. With an estimated attendance of more than 700,000, this is one of the biggest parades in the country. Verizon’s presence included over 150 employee volunteers who served a variety of roles including bleacher hosts, balloon handlers, parade marshalls, bus wranglers and dispersal helpers. Verizon’s team of professional services engineers deployed small cells throughout downtown Dallas and along the parade route.

The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response Team also joined in on the holiday festivities, offering communications support to the U.S. Forest Service as the U.S Capitol Christmas Tree was selected and placed on a specialized tractor trailer for its journey to the U.S. Capitol lawn. This year’s tree is from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.

Media Contact:
Geoffrey Basye

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