Iridium granted GMDSS regulatory approval in Japan

A combination of new aviation, land and maritime service approvals brings state-of-the-art Iridium SATCOM to Japanese flagged aircraft, ships and vehicles.

Iridium Communications has announced that Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has approved regulatory amendments necessary to allow for Japanese adoption of Iridium’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System service (GMDSS) along with other approvals for aviation services.

Over the past several years, Iridium has been working on regulatory amendments with the MIC to incorporate these services into the Japanese regulatory framework, while many other Iridium services have long been approved. Following all required processes of the regulatory amendments, Japanese flagged aircraft, ships and other customers can begin use of these Iridium services.

The Iridium Certus service for maritime and land mobile industries began in January 2019, however it was previously unavailable in Japan due to ongoing regulatory amendments. The MIC published the amendments in the government Gazette in late 2020, and Iridium partners may now obtain equipment certifications for their Iridium Connected products.

Iridium Certus is the world’s most advanced L-band broadband solution, offering small-form-factor, cost-effective terminals, and truly global coverage. In the maritime industry, terminals include the Cobham SATCOM SAILOR 4300, Intellian C700 and Thales VesseLINK 700 and 200. Iridium Certus enables business applications like web browsing, email, voice calling and video chat functions as well as IoT and sensor data collection and transmission.  It serves all market sectors, including commercial shipping, fishing, workboats, leisure and government. Iridium Certus maritime services are being provided by Arion Japan, KDDI, KVH, Kyoritsu Radio Service, Marlink and Satcom Global.

The MIC’s official approval of regulatory amendments for Iridium GMDSS was issued in early 2021. Iridium GMDSS service formally launched in late 2020 and uniquely combines Distress Alert, Safety Voice, and Maritime Safety Information (MSI) in one terminal, the Lars Thrane, LT-3100S. This service offers truly global connectivity including in Sea Area A4, for Japanese Flag vessels.  Iridium GMDSS service is being provided in Japan by Arion Japan, Marlink and Satcom Global.

“We are proud that Iridium completed the process for approval of the regulatory amendments by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications after rigorous examination. Delivered through our resilient satellite network, Iridium services can keep customers in Japan safe and connected,” said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Iridium. “Following approval, Iridium’s global offerings of Iridium Certus, CPDLC and GMDSS will benefit the Japanese airlines and maritime industries everywhere on the planet.”

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