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FleetBroadband-based service gains GMDSS recommendation

FleetBroadband operates on Inmarsat’s I-4 satellite network FleetBroadband operates on Inmarsat’s I-4 satellite network

Inmarsat’s new Fleet Safety product, a service incorporating FleetBroadband and a Maritime Safety Terminal (MST), has been recommended for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) recognition after an International Maritime Organization (IMO) technical review.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The results of the review, carried out by experts from the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), were presented at the most recent IMO Sub-Committee meeting on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR).

The tests confirmed that the Fleet Safety system had surpassed the requirements of IMO resolution A.1001(25), which outlines the criteria for GMDSS service provision, initially for the Middle East and Asia region.

NCSR is now expected to recommend that the May 2018 meeting of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee approves Fleet Safety as a recognised GMDSS service.

“We are delighted that Inmarsat’s proposal regarding the future development of its GMDSS solution has received a positive response from NCSR,” said Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime.

“This is an important step-forward for our maritime safety strategy encompassing both our current constellation of I-4 satellites and our I-6 constellation, and has been designed for both existing FleetBroadband services and the next generation.”

“It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Inmarsat’s maritime safety and security and engineering teams, and to the ongoing support of IMSO.”

Operating on L-band via Inmarsat’s four I-4 satellites, FleetBroadband terminals are equipped with the same GMDSS functionality as Inmarsat-C, which currently has about 160,000 terminals installed on ships worldwide.

Mr Spithout said that Inmarsat would liaise closely with IMSO and its network of technology and channel partners over the coming months to finalise and implement the proposal which will be put in front of the Maritime Safety Committee in May. 

IMO is reviewing GMDSS under a wide-ranging modernisation plan, looking to take advantage of improvements in satellite infrastructure to enhance its capabilities and exploring the possibility of adding new service providers.

Iridium has been pursuing recognition as a GMDSS provider for a number of years, having formally begun the process in April 2013. The American satellite operator has previously earmarked 2018 as the year it expects to gain GMDSS recognition for its satcom service, to prepare for the introduction of services in 2020. That process is still ongoing.

All vessels of 300 grt and above, and all passenger ships sailing on international voyages are required to be fitted with GMDSS-compliant equipment.{/mprestriction}

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