Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) has announced that Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has approved regulatory amendments necessary to allow for Japanese adoption of Iridium Certus® broadband, Iridium Controller–Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and other aeronautical services for aviation and Iridium’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System service (GMDSS).
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.
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.
In the land mobile market, the Thales MissionLINK 700 and 200 offer Iridium Certus service for a variety of land applications including those supporting business continuity, public safety, and government organizations. These terminals can support both mobile and fixed-site applications and are ideal for field workforce management for fleets, remote asset control requiring IP connectivity, voice communications, and added redundancy for VSAT systems as a failover. Iridium Certus land services in Japan are being provided by Arion Japan, Kaigai Corporation and KDDI.
Iridium Certus aviation solutions are planned for availability in late 2021 and will serve business, commercial, government and general aviation aircraft, including rotorcraft. The service will offer a variety of speeds and features low-profile, highly reliable L-band antennas and lightweight terminals that enable high-quality voice, IP data, email and web browsing. Iridium Certus aviation services in Japan will be provided by Navicom Aviation.
The MIC’s official approval of regulatory amendments for Iridium CPDLC and Iridium GMDSS were both issued in early 2021. CPDLC is a text-based communications service directly between aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers and is used for air traffic management. The service is now fully approved for use in Japanese airspace and for adoption by Japanese flagged aircraft. Iridium aviation CPDLC service in Japan is being provided by KDDI and Navicom Aviation.
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.”