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Iridium GMDSS evaluation formally begins

The International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO) has begun the formal evaluation process of Iridium as a Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) provider.

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In November 2014, the IMO’s Marine Safety Committee (MSC) agreed that the IMSO should put together a panel of experts to produce a technical and operational assessment of Iridium, as it seeks to join Inmarsat as a provider of GMDSS services.

The IMSO has formalised an agreement with Iridium to perform the evaluation, with the IMSO’s director general Captain Esteban Pacha having recently reported progress back to the IMO.

The group of experts put together by the IMSO will examine various aspects of Iridium’s infrastructure, such as earth stations, space segment, mobile terminals, terrestrial networks, GMDSS and search and rescue communications.

Captain Pacha is then expected to deliver the group’s report at the next session of the IMO Subcommittee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR-3), which will take place in 2016.


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