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FleetBroadband moves forward in GMDSS process

IMO’s continuing process of modernising GMDSS has seen delegates at a Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) Sub-Committee meeting in March put Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband system forward to undergo technical assessment by IMSO (International Mobile Satellite Organization) pursuant to future inclusion as a compliant service, with a report to be provided for consideration by the next NCSR in 2018.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}According to an assessment offered by the IMO’s UK delegation, FleetBroadband has achieved availability surpassing the 99.9 per cent required for GMDSS by IMO in every year since January 2010.

Operating on L-band via the Inmarsat fleet of four I-4 satellites, FleetBroadband terminals are equipped with the same GMDSS functionality as Inmarsat-C. Today, around 160,000 Inmarsat-C terminals are installed on ships operating worldwide.

Inmarsat is currently the only company approved to provide GMDSS data and messaging communications, via Inmarsat-C and Fleet 77 services. Iridium is also presently undergoing assessment of its satellite network as it attempts to join Inmarsat as a GMDSS-approved provider.

“Given that most of FleetBroadband’s components already meet IMO performance standards, the service is on course for a formal approval, and this is very much in line with the agreed timetable for the modernisation of GMDSS,” said Peter Broadhurst, Inmarsat Maritime senior vice president, safety and security.

“Our continuing commitment to investment in L-band includes the development of a new Maritime Safety Terminal (MST) to enable easier functionality, standardised interface and information rich safety data.”

“IMO can now move swiftly forward with its approval process, so that Inmarsat FleetBroadband terminals can be formally considered against resolution A1001.25 - the GMDSS mobile satellite communication systems criteria for which Inmarsat-C is approved.”

The NCSR also agreed that Fleet One services from Inmarsat merited technical consideration by IMO to assess their inclusion within GMDSS service provision. Also operating on L-Band, Fleet One offers the same coverage as FleetBroadband.{/mprestriction}

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