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Iridium Submits Application to IMO for New Maritime Offering

By Rachel Scharmann | April 28, 2014

A standard handheld maritime VHF device, which is mandatory on larger vessels under the GMDSS regulations. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

[Via Satellite 04-28-2014] Iridium has formally submitted an application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for approval to provide mobile satellite communication services in the Global Marine Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). If IMO approves the application, Iridium could start providing GMDSS services as early as late 2015.

Iridium’s admission into the GMDSS communications arena would give ship operators the option of using a single communications terminal for most safety and business communications requirements, as opposed to having to carry multiple systems to meet both GMDSS requirements and the operational communication needs of their vessels.

Iridium’s network meets the criteria for providing satellite communications as part of the GMDSS. The company estimates that GMDSS terminals using the Iridium network will have an expected operational life of nearly 20 years. The IMO Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) Subcommittee will meet to review Iridium’s application in June 2014.