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Verizon and NORAD team up to show children when Santa is coming to town

Verizon partners with NORAD Tracks Santa for the 17th year to follow Santa’s journey around the globe and spread holiday cheer

2018 NORAD Tracks Santa Operation Center on Peterson Air Force Base, CO on December 24
2018 NORAD Tracks Santa Operation Center on Peterson Air Force Base, CO on December 24

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Decorations are hung, trees are lit and there’s a special magic in the air that only comes this time of year. As children make their wish lists, write letters to Santa and are on their best behavior to solidify their place on the ‘nice’ list, they’ll be keen to know where jolly old St. Nicholas is on Christmas Eve, what kind of cookies he likes best (so they can prepare accordingly), and maybe even catch a rare glimpse at the man in the red suit. 

To keep the magic of Christmas alive, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) started ‘NORAD Tracks Santa’ (NTS) more than 60 years ago. It started after a misprint in a department store advertisement in the local newspaper resulted in a child dialing the operations center for Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD, NORAD’s predecessor) believing it was Santa’s workshop, and since then it became an international tradition that brings joy to children around the globe every year. 

Verizon joined the fun in 2002, when it teamed up with NORAD Tracks Santa to provide the toll-free hotline for the NORAD call center, spreading holiday cheer to Santa believers everywhere. In 2012, the company expanded its relationship to provide a secure 4G LTE wireless broadband signal to Comet, Dancer and Prancer—a set of dedicated routers with the festive code names.

What do you want to know about Santa?

In addition to connecting and supporting the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline and operations center, nearly 1,500 volunteers, including Verizon employees and government and other corporate partners, come together to make the magic of NORAD Tracks Santa possible every year. They’re on the line ready to talk with the thousands of children—and children at heart— who contact NORAD on Dec. 24 for answers to important questions such as:

- Where is Santa?

- When will he get to my house?

- Will Santa know where I am if I am not at home?

- What kind of cookies does Santa like?

- Are you an elf?

 How can you follow St. Nick around the world? 

If your family plans to give the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline a ring while you’re baking cookies for Santa’s middle-of-the-night treat, curled up with hot cocoa and a holiday movie or doing some last-minute Christmas wrapping, here are a few ways you can track Santa:

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

  • Email: Starting on December 24, children can send an email to to find Santa’s whereabouts. The email response will include Santa’s last known location.

  • Web: On December 24 you can also visit the NORAD Tracks Santa website to see real-time information. You can even view a ‘SantaCam’ on NORAD Tracks Santa’s YouTube page.
    SantaCam produces video from Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve, where you can show your child real-time imagery of Santa’s location from the NORAD Tracks Santa website.

To experience the magic throughout the day, visit the website on desktop or mobile for more fun activities. While Santa is in flight, you can see his whereabouts, as well as play games, learn about holiday traditions around the world and how NORAD tracks Santa.

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

Verizon is proud to help make the NORAD Tracks Santa experience possible again this year. 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.

Click here to learn more about our work with the public sector.

About the author(s): 

Mike Maiorana is senior vice president, public sector, with Verizon.

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