Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) and partner Lars Thrane A/S have unveiled the LT 3100S terminal.
This is the first shipboard terminal designed to meet Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) carriage requirements using the Iridium satcom network.
The addition of Iridium as a GMDSS provider will extend the coverage of the service to 100 percent of the planet’s waterways, including the Arctic and Antarctic, for the first time.
In April, Iridium and the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) announced the signing of a Public Services Agreement (PSA) which detailed the conditions for IMSO to act as regulator and maintain oversight of Iridium’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services. This was a key step in the process towards IMSO issuing Iridium a Letter of Compliance, stating that the company is ready to begin providing its GMDSS service. Currently in the implementation phase of preparing for GMDSS service introduction, Iridium anticipates providing service as of January 2020.
“The recognition of the Iridium satellite network to provide GMDSS services fundamentally changes the status quo of the maritime industry,” said Peter Thrane, CEO of Lars Thrane. “We immediately recognized the unique capabilities Iridium offers and wanted to make sure we provided the very first terminal available for Iridium GMDSS. The low-earth orbiting Iridium network with interconnected satellites allows us to offer multiple services throughout all the world’s waterways in a single, compact terminal.”
With the LT-3100S, mariners will have an all-in-one system that can meet Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention vessel carriage requirements, while also serving as a primary or companion communications system. Unlike the competitive alternative, says Iridium. this small and compact new terminal will offer GMDSS services, along with voice, texting, and data services with a built in GNSS/GPS receiver. The multi-service terminal also supports the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), Anti-Piracy/Citadel Communications and Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT).
“With all three GMDSS services in one low-cost, absolutely global and compact terminal, more mariners will be able to take advantage of these lifesaving capabilities,” said Kyle Hurst, director of maritime safety and security services for Iridium. “The navigational and meteorological warnings from the terminals, Maritime Safety Information broadcasts, will help mariners try to avoid danger. If they cannot, the new terminals’ Distress Alert and Distress Voice features will be able to help. This delivers on a key Iridium maritime goal: using our unique technology to make the oceans safer.”
“The new GMDSS terminal from Lars Thrane is unlike any single option the industry has ever had and can meet all bridge communications needs for any size vessel, not just SOLAS,” said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime for Iridium. “A new era of choice, truly global coverage, innovation and reliability has come to the maritime industry with Iridium GMDSS and our recently launched L-band broadband service, Iridium Certus. We are proud to help lead the way.”