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IRIDIUM RECEIVES FORMAL GMDSS AUTHORISATION

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 

Iridium Communications says that the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) has issued a letter of compliance, stating it has positively verified the operational and technical requirements as requested by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the IMO for Iridium to provide Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) service.

This letter formally authorises Iridium to provide satellite GMDSS service, bringing truly global coverage and a choice of both network and equipment to this critical emergency service for the first time.

“This is a historic moment for public safety in the maritime community globally. The addition of new providers, such as Iridium, for GMDSS services can help to create safer seas for all mariners,” said Capt Moin Ahmed, Director General of IMSO. “Since the inception of GMDSS by the IMO in 1999, a new mobile satellite system, the Iridium network, has now completed a thorough evaluation to become a recognised mobile satellite system in the GMDSS. Recognition of Iridium marks the start of a new era in GMDSS and enhances the integrity and global coverage of safety services for seafarers across the world, including in the polar regions.  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. I am pleased to issue Iridium the ‘Letter of Compliance’ that officially makes the company the second recognized mobile satellite system in the GMDSS.”

Iridium’s GMDSS service is bringing new capabilities to the maritime industry, including extending the service to the growing 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 - distress alert, distress voice and Maritime Safety Information – in one compact terminal.  These terminals can provide both normal and emergency communications, including Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Anti-Piracy/Citadel Communications, and Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT). All of this will be provided cost-effectively, making the terminals more affordable for all sizes of vessels, including those that are not required to be GMDSS equipped, but want to take advantage of the service.

“This is a monumental achievement for Iridium, and one that took years of hard work and dedication. The maritime industry is recognising that our network possesses the unique ability to make GMDSS an even more robust system and extend its coverage to the entire planet,” said Iridium CEO, Matt Desch.

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