Written by Mr. Walter Ham, Office of Navigation Systems
By a consensus vote, the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized U.S. Satellite Communications Company Iridium as the second service provider for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), May 21, 2018.
This international recognition enables Iridium to enter the market for the IMO-required distress communications system alongside the current provider, United Kingdom-based Inmarsat, which has been the sole service provider since 1979.
The International Mobile Satellite Organization, which oversees the system for IMO, will work with Iridium to finalize the details of a Service Provider Agreement and address implementation details.
Expected to begin service by Jan. 1, 2020, Iridium will provide global coverage that includes both Polar Regions, a critical addition that will cover expanding Arctic shipping and polar tourism.
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