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The Iridium GMDSS

The Iridium GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress & Safety System) is a revolutionary service that brings reliable, truly global GMDSS services to the market for the first time ever. It offers real choice and makes critical safety services available anywhere on the globe.

Key Features:

Distress Alert: Activated by the press of a button, distress alerting sends basic, but critical data to a Rescue Coordination Center (RCC): ID, Status, Position.
Maritime Safety Information (MSI): MSI is transmitted through an Enhanced Group Call (EGC) service called Iridium SafetyCast SM: Navigational, Meteorological, Safety-Related.
Safety Voice: Connect to an RCC and other maritime authorities through a call to share additional details about the distress situation: High Priority Calling, Hydrographic Reporting, Medical Assistance.
Additional Features: Distress Alert Relay, Shore-to-Ship Distress Calling, Maritime Assistance, Standard Maritime Calling & Messaging.

Iridium GMDSS Plans

Basic plan


Monthly value plan


Annual value plan


How does it compare to other maritime safety systems?

The Iridium GMDSS system offers several advantages over other maritime safety systems, particularly the Inmarsat-C system, which was the only approved system under the IMO requirements from 1999 to 2018.

Here are some key differences between the Iridium GMDSS and Inmarsat GMDSS:

  • Coverage: Iridium GMDSS offers truly global coverage, including the polar regions. In contrast, Inmarsat-C operates using geo-stationary satellites, which may not provide coverage in certain areas.
  • Real-Time Communication: Iridium GMDSS supports real-time communication, including voice calls. This allows the crew to communicate directly with the maritime authority in an emergency and provide additional details about the distress situation. Inmarsat-C, on the other hand, is designed for text-based messaging and small data files, and does not support voice communication.
  • Integrated Services: Iridium GMDSS is the first to offer all three satellite GMDSS services (Distress Alert, Maritime Safety Information, and Distress Voice) in one device. In contrast, most GMDSS satellite users only have access to Distress Alert and Maritime Safety Information.


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