Iridium Communications has announced the first seven companies it has authorised to provide its Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services, planned for commercial introduction in the first half of 2020.
The seven companies, Arion Communications, AST, Marlink, Marsat, NSSLGlobal, Satcom Global and Speedcast will provide global satellite GMDSS service to mariners. Iridium GMDSS will feature all three GMDSS services – safety voice, distress alerting and maritime safety information messaging, as well as being able to utilise Iridium’s voice and data services.
These new GMDSS service providers will deliver and support Iridium GMDSS capabilities on ships, including for fleets. Iridium received recognition to provide GMDSS from the IMO in 2018 and signed a public services agreement with IMSO to act as regulator of the service in 2019.
Commenting on the announcement, Wouter Deknopper, Vice President of Maritime, Iridium, said: “The maritime industry is continuing its digital transformation, and Iridium is becoming the network of choice for mariners, especially when considering the excitement for our upcoming GMDSS service introduction targetted for 2020 and the increasing popularity of the Iridium Certus broadband service. Iridium already has a strong track record of providing non-SOLAS safety and security services along with our partners. These themes of safety and safety of life services are a constant throughout Iridium and all the markets we serve, making our GMDSS recognition a natural continuation of Iridium’s ongoing desire to enhance and innovate in safety at sea for mariners.”