Iridium Communications expands service

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Iridium Communications has signed agreements with seven new providers to provide the Iridium Certus service for maritime applications. Globecomm, Network Innovations, Pivotel, MVS USA, IEC-Telecom, MetOcean and Samsan Enterprise Company broaden the base of Iridium’s distribution for its L-band broadband service.

The addition of the seven service providers comes on the heels of Iridium becoming the second-ever recognized service provider for the Global Maritime Distress Safety System. The company says it is working to introduce GMDSS service as soon as possible.

“The addition of this group of world-class service providers is a major milestone for the Iridium Certus program,” said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime at Iridium, in a statement. “These partnerships are a testament to the need for choice in this industry, especially one that meets the needs of every vessel, regardless of location, size and budget. Supporting the global, digital and mobile needs of mariners is at the core of our mission and it would not be possible without our worldwide partner network and service providers.”

Iridium Certus is currently undergoing live testing on state-of-the-art, small-form-factor terminals built by Thales and Cobham. Initial service offering speeds will debut at 352 Kbps and will later be upgradable to 704 Kbps with a firmware upgrade. Iridium Certus will support multiple speed classes and provide safety services and a range of streaming options.

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