Marine messages beam brightly for Iridium

Iridium Satellite has reported a 30% jump in the number of its maritime industry subscribers since January this year.

In its statement released at the Europort Maritime exhibition in Rotterdam, the global mobile satellite communications carrier said that both the number of subscribers had grown by 30& percent this year and that revenues from the marine industry are also up substantially in 2005, reflecting income from new subscribers as well as increased usage by existing customers.

 Individual successes reported by Iridium are as follows:

  • some of the world's largest shipping fleets switching to Iridium for a wide range of voice and data applications over the last two years;
  • 50% rise in 2005 of deployments of Iridium's prepaid scratch-card Crew Calling service;
  • 119% rise in deployments in 2005 of Iridium's In-Network calling service, which takes advantage of low charges for calls between two Iridium satellite telephone units;
  • the network architecture allows calls to be routed directly through the satellites end-to-end without any additional long distance charges from landline carriers;
  • shipping fleets are installing Iridium satellite antennas on their office buildings to communicate with their ships at rates significantly less than $1.00 per minute; and
  • maritime data traffic up 60% in 2005, twice the rate of growth for voice.
Iridium states that it is positioning for continued growth in the maritime sector, with solutions for Ship Security Alert Systems (SSAS), Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS), Long-Range Identification and Tracking Systems (LRIT) and enhanced e-mail and fax solutions for crew and ship business. Ultimately, the company hopes to offer satellite solutions that will be certified for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

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