Photo: Iridium

Iridium Unveils First GMDSS Terminal

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Iridium Communications and partner Lars Thrane, has unveiled the Lars Thrane (LT) 3100S terminal designed to operate on the Iridium network for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) vessel carriage requirements, with service targeted to launch in January 2020.

This is the first terminal designed to provide truly global GMDSS services and is the first to be offered after the International Maritime Organization's decision to recognize Iridium as just the second-ever satellite provider for this critical service. The terminal offers a superior alternative to the decades-long incumbent option and was unveiled at the 2019 Nor-Shipping conference, in Oslo, Norway and is on display at multiple booths, including at NSSLGlobal and Marlink.

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, 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).

For decades, only Inmarsat was authorized to provide satellite GMDSS services, limiting coverage and stifling innovation. The addition of Iridium as a GMDSS provider will extend the coverage of this service to 100 percent of the planet's waterways, including the dangerous A4 regions (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.

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