MCLEAN, Va., April 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) today announced it has formally submitted a comprehensive application to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) through the United States for the provision of mobile satellite communications in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). If the application is approved, Iridium could begin providing GMDSS services in late 2015.
Today, ship operators are forced to carry multiple communications systems to meet GMDSS requirements as well as the operational communications needs of the vessel. Iridium's entrance into GMDSS communications will be supported by an array of maritime communications systems, giving the industry the option of a single, affordable communications terminal to satisfy both safety and business communications requirements wherever they operate. Iridium is working with recognized maritime communications equipment manufacturers for the production and certification of GMDSS terminals that use the Iridium® network, which are expected to be available before the end of 2015.
"We see Iridium's inclusion as a GMDSS service provider as being very important to maritime safety and security on a global basis," Admiral Robert E. Day, U.S. Coast Guard, said. "Our preliminary review of the Iridium network capabilities is positive, and we look forward to the possibility of welcoming a new provider of GMDSS services."
Iridium's constellation of 66 low-Earth orbit satellites provides truly global and reliable coverage everywhere on Earth – including Polar regions – where demand for reliable voice and data communications is on the rise as shipping and trade routes continue to expand into these remote waters. The Iridium network meets all of the criteria for the provision of mobile satellite communications to be part of the GMDSS. Additionally, GMDSS terminals utilizing the Iridium network are expected to have an operational longevity of nearly 20 years, eliminating the need for vessel owners and operators to purchase new equipment every few years. The approved technologies in operation today are not keeping pace with maritime communications requirements, but Iridium's network provides the reliability, coverage and functionality designed to ensure that vessels' safety and operational communications needs are met, no matter where they operate around the world.
"Iridium has matured into a premier provider of satellite communications to the maritime industry," said Brian Pemberton, director, aviation and maritime line of business, Iridium. "There is a distinct industry need for diversification of service provider options for maritime safety communications, which Iridium is functionally and operationally capable of providing."
Iridium is already a leader in providing critical safety of flight communications to the aviation industry. The IMO Navigation, Communication, Search and Rescue (NCSR) Subcommittee will begin a review and evaluation of the Iridium application at a meeting in June 2014.
About Iridium Communications Inc.
Iridium is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the expected certification of GMDSS over the Iridium network; performance of GMDSS devices over the Iridium network; and development and performance of the Iridium NEXT system. Other forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates," "may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding the health, capacity and content of Iridium's current satellite constellation and the development of and transition to Iridium NEXT, the successful certification, development and marketing of GMDSS products and services over the Iridium network, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 4, 2014. There is no assurance that Iridium's expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Press Contact: Diane Hockenberry Iridium Communications Inc. +1 (703) 287-7421 Diane.Hockenberry@iridium.com
Source:Iridium Communications Inc.