IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) this week approved Inmarsat’s Fleet Safety solution as a new service to support the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (GMDSS).
Ship owners and operators will now be able to combine safety and broadband data services in a single FleetBroadband or Fleet One terminal provided by Inmarsat.
Customers currently using the satellite services will be able to access GMDSS-approved safety services — as well as new safety features available via the Inmarsat Fleet Safety system — through the addition of the Maritime Safety Terminal (MST).
Inmarsat now intends to create a new generation of standalone terminals that, in future, will both incorporate FleetBroadband and MST into a single device and deliver speeds in excess of 1Mbps.
“Fleet Safety is the most significant advance in maritime safety services since the introduction of GMDSS in 1999, and restates our commitment to maintaining and improving safety services for the maritime industry,” says Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime.
The new service will be delivered over the existing Inmarsat-4 constellation and the new Inmarsat-6 satellites, the first of which is due for launch in 2020.
IMO has also approved the introduction of a GMDSS service by Iridium, making the company the second-ever recognized provider behind Inmarsat. In a statement, Iridium hailed the decision as the end to “a decades-long satellite industry monopoly”.
Inmarsat’s Spithout has congratulated Iridium, and emphasized the need for collaboration in ensuring safety at sea.
“Together, we must strive to maintain and enhance the exceptionally high standards required by the IMO and demanded by the maritime industry as the lifeline for seafarers at sea,” he says.