MAY 22, 2018 — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) reports that IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has agreed to recognize that the Iridium network meets all the criteria needed to provide mobile satellite services in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and to adopt the “Statement of Recognition” proposed by the U.S.
Iridium says that tis is a significant achievement that ends a decades-long satellite industry monopoly in which only one company was authorized to provide satellite GMDSS service and for the first time will bring competition and truly global coverage, to mariners sailing any of the world’s oceans.
The MSC also agreed that Iridium and the United States, the delegation sponsoring Iridium’s application at the IMO, will work with the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), which will monitor progress in Iridium’s implementation of the service.
The IMSO will report to the MSC once a Public Services Agreement has been entered into between Iridium and the IMSO, likely marking the start of this service.
“This is a historic moment for the maritime industry and an honor for Iridium to be the second ever recognized provider for GMDSS services,” said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, Iridium. “This is the dawn of a new era for mariner safety. We’ll bring a new choice and upgraded capabilities for mariners along with our truly global coverage that will for the first time extend the reach of satellite-based GMDSS to even the most remote waterways.”
Iridium formally began the process to become a recognized GMDSS mobile satellite service provider in April 2013.
Iridium plans to begin providing GMDSS service in early 2020.
“This has been a long time coming, and we are ecstatic to gain this very important recognition from the IMO. We are equally proud to ensure mariners will have access to this critical system from anywhere in the world that they sail,” said Matt Desch, chief executive officer, Iridium. “Iridium has established itself as a trusted maritime safety provider for over a decade, and this recognition is a testament to both that trust and the capabilities offered by our satellite network.”