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Iridium Receives Authorization to Provide GMDSS Service 

By | January 14, 2020


Iridium CEO Matt Desch receives the Letter of Compliance for Iridium to provide GMDSS services from Captain Moin Ahmed, Director General of the International Mobile Satellite Organization. Photo: Iridium

Iridium Communications is now authorized to provide satellite Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service.The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) presented Iridum with a Letter of Compliance on Monday, stating that the company is verified for the operational and technical requirements requested by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to provide GMDSS service. 

Iridium is now the second recognized mobile satellite system in the GMDSS. It joins Inmarsat, which has been the only provider GMDSS-approved satellite communication services since the inception of GMDSS in 1999. Iridium formally began the process to become a recognized GMDSS satellite service provider in 2013, and the Iridium network was recognized for meeting all criteria required by the IMO’s MSC in May 2018. 

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. Iridium says this development allows the company to bring truly global coverage and a choice of both network and equipment to this critical emergency service for the first time

“This is a monumental achievement for Iridium, and one that took years of hard work and dedication,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said. “The maritime industry is recognizing that our network possesses the unique ability to make GMDSS an even more robust system and extend its coverage to the entire planet. We are dedicated to keep finding innovative new ways to facilitate safer marine travel.”