Iridium Communications has signed a public services agreement with the International Mobile Satellite Organization, moving Iridium a step closer toward receiving an IMSO letter of compliance that will let the company start providing GMDSS service.
GMDSS is a safety-of-life system that the the International Maritime Organization designed to rescue mariners at sea. Satellite communications systems feed distress information into a network of rescue coordination centers around the world that orchestrate search and rescue efforts.
For decades, according to Iridium, only one company was allowed to provide GMDSS service, limiting coverage reach and capability.
“With Iridium, mariners will for the first time in history have a choice in equipment and service provider while also now reaching 100 percent of the world’s oceans, helping protect mariners no matter where they sail,” the company stated in a press release.
Iridium is reportedly on target to finish development of its GMDSS system by the end of this year. Its first terminal could be installed on any non-SOLAS yacht as soon as it’s approved.
What about owners of SOLAS-class yachts? They are expected to have the new option with Iridium by 2020.
For more information, visit: iridium.com