Source - SMW
Inmarsat said the UN's International Maritime Organisation had approved a new fleet safety product to be used by ship owners, but the announcement did little to arrest a steep fall in its share price.

The company's shares were hit by news late on Monday that the IMO had ended its monopoly on satellite services for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, or GMDSS.

A competitor, Iridium Communications, said that its mobile-satellite system had also been recognized by the IMO for GMDSS use. The IMO also approved a request by Chinese group BeiDou Navigation Satellite System for evaluation of its GMDSS proposal.

Inmarsat Martime president Ronald Spithout congratulated both companies for their successful applications.

'We look forward to welcoming them both as GMDSS service providers in the coming years,' he said.

'Together, we must strive to maintain and enhance the exceptionally high standards required by the IMO and demanded by the maritime industry as the lifeline for seafarers at sea.'

Inmarsat confirmed that its so-called Fleet Safety solution had formally been approved by the IMO as a new service to the support the GMDSS.

'Ship owners and operators will now be able to combine maritime safety and broadband data services in a single FleetBroadband or Fleet One terminal provided by Inmarsat,' the company said.

'Tens of thousands of vessels are already equipped with FleetBroadband or Fleet One, making the adoption of Fleet Safety simple and hassle free.'

The new service would be delivered over the existing Inmarsat-4 constellation and the new Inmarsat-6 satellites; the first of which is due for launch in 2020, the company said.

At 1:40pm: (LON:ISAT) Inmarsat PLC share price was -36.1p at 352.5p

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