Iridium Communications has received approval from the International Maritime Organization’s maritime safety committee to provide Global Maritime Distress Safety System mobile satellite services.
Iridium said Monday it plans to start providing GMDSS services by early 2020 through its satellite network and will collaborate with the International Mobile Satellite Organization to facilitate the delivery of such services through a public services agreement.
“This has been a long time coming, and we are ecstatic to gain this very important recognition from the IMO,” said Iridium CEO Matt Desch.
“We are equally proud to ensure mariners will have access to this critical system from anywhere in the world that they sail,” added Desch, a 2018 Wash100 recipient.
IMO’s approval came five years after Iridium commenced the process to become an authorized provider of satellite-based GMDSS services to mariners worldwide.
The company is set to launch five Iridium NEXT satellites Tuesday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO rideshare mission.