Iridium Formally Authorized to Provide Satellite Marine Distress Service
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 | Comments

Iridium Communications was formally authorized to provide satellite Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service by the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO). Iridium said it brings global coverage and a choice of both network and equipment to the critical emergency service for the first time.

GMDSS is a safety of life system that helps rescue mariners in emergency situations while at sea. IMSO serves as regulator for the system, which is partially comprised of satellite networks that transmit distress information to rescue coordination centers around the world, in addition to the dissemination of navigational and meteorological data to vessels at sea.

"This is a historic moment for public safety in the maritime community globally,” said Capt. Moin Ahmed, director general of IMSO. β€œThe addition of new providers, such as Iridium, for GMDSS services can help to create safer seas for all mariners."

The evaluation of Iridium took more than four years, and at various stages, the company successfully demonstrated its capability to comply with the requirements for satellite communication services for maritime safety. Iridium's GMDSS service is bringing many new capabilities to the maritime industry, including extending this critical service to the increasing number of ships in the waters of the Arctic and Antarctica, otherwise known as Sea Area A4.

The new Iridium GMDSS terminals will combine the key three GMDSS services β€” distress alert, distress voice and Maritime Safety Information β€” in one global compact terminal. The terminals can provide both normal and emergency communications.

Iridium formally began the process to become a recognized GMDSS satellite service provider in 2013. Iridium now continues to work with its partners around the world towards rolling out its truly global GMDSS service throughout the first half of 2020.

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