Iridium is gearing up for the introduction of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services on its satellite network for the first time in 2020 with the announcement of the initial seven companies it has authorised to provide its safety connectivity services.
The seven companies are: Arion Communications, AST, Marlink, Marsat, NSSLGlobal, Satcom Global and Speedcast, who will be the first to offer all three of Iridium’s GMDSS capabilities – safety voice, distress alerting and maritime safety information messaging.
All of the GMDSS terminals supplied will also be able to provide global voice and data services for users in addition to their safety capabilities, the company says.
“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 targeted for 2020 and the increasing popularity of the Iridium Certus broadband service,” said Wouter Deknopper, Vice President of Maritime, Iridium.
“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.”
Additional companies are expected to be added to this current list of seven providers in the future, Iridium notes. The satellite operator received recognition to provide GMDSS services from the IMO in 2018 and signed a public services agreement with IMSO to act as regulator of the service in 2019.