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12.18.2018Business Tech

Verizon and NORAD track Santa for the 16th year

By: Jennifer Banks
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Santa Claus on sleigh

'Tis the season for NORAD Tracks Santa. Yes, it’s that time of year again. The snow has already begun to fall, and you can practically smell chestnuts roasting in the air. With this changing season, some children are anxiously on the lookout for any and all early signs of sleighs, reindeer, and even elves.

Once a child’s holiday wish list has been mailed off to the ‘North Pole,’ some think there is nothing more to be done except wait. But other Santa believers know that an occasional check-in never hurts to make sure that all goes smoothly as he takes his journey around the world.

In fact, “Will you call me back when Santa gets to my house?” is one of the many questions that will be posed to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and 1,500 volunteers from children – and the children at heart – on December 24th. In recent years, the operations center manages over a hundred thousand calls and emails with priceless questions like these in one day.

Over the years, many of us can personally remember calling the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline with similar questions and high hopes of following Santa’s journey around the world – I certainly do. And Verizon is helping to make this experience possible again this year.

Other questions NORAD has fielded:

 - When is Santa’s birthday?
 - Are you Santa’s elf?
 - How does Santa get in the house?
 - What is Santa’s favorite cookie?


If your family plans to participate, keep these tips and tricks in mind to help make sure your kids stay engaged and the experience is a magical one.

How are you tracking Santa?

  • Phone: The toll-free hotline – 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) – will be in operation for calls beginning at 4 a.m. (Mountain Standard Time) on Dec. 24.

Program the hotline number into your Verizon phone and save as “Santa’s Workshop.” On Christmas Eve, ask your child to use the voice command to call NORAD’s Santa Trackers.

You’ll receive a response that includes Santa’s last known location.

  • Web: On Dec. 24, children can visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website to see real-time information, including radar maps and streaming “SantaCam” video. Information will be available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Chinese.

Santa Cams produce video from Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. Show your children real time imagery of Santa’s location from the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

For tech savvy kids, visit the website on desktop or mobile for fun activities throughout the day.

For more information on Santa’s whereabouts, visit or track via FacebookInstagramTwitter (@noradsanta), and YouTube.

Get your questions ready!

Thousands of children contact NORAD every year on December 24 looking for answers on Santa’s whereabouts, his visit, the reindeer, and more. Several children even squeeze in last minute gift requests just in the nick of time. To make sure that all of your children’s questions make it to the right place, Verizon has partnered with NORAD to connect and support the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline and operations center.

Verizon first announced its collaboration with NORAD in 2002, when the company teamed up with NORAD Tracks Santa to provide the toll-free hotline. In 2012, the company expanded its relationship to provide a secure 4G LTE wireless broadband signal to a set of dedicated routers with the code names Comet, Dancer and Prancer.

This tradition is led by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and its focus on critically important aerospace warning, control, and maritime warning missions in the U.S. and Canada.

Verizon is the largest provider of telecommunications services to the U.S. federal government, delivering a broad range of advanced IT and communications services that help to transform the way government customers – and their constituents – do business.

Learn more about our work with the public sector.

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About the author(s): 

Jennifer Banks is an external communications manager for Verizon writing about enterprise solutions.

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