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What is Inmarsat?

The International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat), previously the International Maritime Satellite Organization, was established by IMO in 1976 to operate satellite maritime communication systems and has become a privately owned company, while retaining its public sector obligations to the maritime distress and safety system.

Three types of Inmarsat ship earth station terminals are recognized by the GMDSS: the Inmarsat A, B and C. The Inmarsat A and B, an updated version of the A, provide ship/shore, ship/ship and shore/ship telephone, telex and high-speed data services, including a distress priority telephone and telex service to and from rescue coordination centres. The Inmarsat C provides ship/shore, shore/ship and ship/ship store-and-forward data and telex messaging, the capability for sending preformatted distress messages to a rescue coordination centre, and the SafetyNET service. The Inmarsat C SafetyNET service is a satellite-based worldwide maritime safety information broadcast service of high seas weather warnings, navigational warnings, radionavigation warnings, ice reports and warnings generated by the International Ice Patrol, and other similar information not provided by NAVTEX. SafetyNET works similarly to NAVTEX in areas outside NAVTEX coverage.

MSI can be made available on one or several Ocean areas within the footprints (0 elevation) of the Inmarsat satellites located at 55.5W (Atlantic Ocean Region West = AOR(W)), 18.5W (Atlantic Ocean Region East = AOR(E)), 63E (Indian Ocean Region = IOR and 180E (Pacific Ocean Region W = POR).

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