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This is the fourth edition of the Inmarsat Maritime Communications Handbook, which has been revised to include new Inmarsat systems and operating procedures. The handbook lias been produced to help users of the Inmarsat network understand how the Inmarsat system operates and how to get the most from it. The handbook is divided into chapters, which each cover a specific subject. Chapter 1 introduces Inmarsat and its network of satellites, including a summary of the different Inmarsat satellite communication systems. The chapter explains how calls are routed between a mobile earth station (MES) and a subscriber connected to the public telecommunications networks. Since 1 February 1999 the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) has become a mandatory requirement on all cargo ships of 300 gross registered tonnes and upwards and all passenger ships engaged on international voyages. Chapter 2 explains Inmarsats role within the GMDSS and Chapter 6 describes how the Inmarsat-C system is used for the distribution of Maritime Safety Information (MSI). Chapter 8 explains die operation of the Inmarsat Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) service. Inmarsat-E. Chapter 3 describes the commissioning procedures through winch every MES must pass before it is allowed to access the network, whether it is a new installation or a modification. Together with Chapter 3. Chapter 4 explains the accounting, billing and settlement process for Inmarsat-generated traffic for ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship calls. Chapters 5. 6, 7. 8 9 and 10 explain in more detail how the different Inmarsat systems operate. They include operating guidelines and guidance on how best to operate an Inmarsat MES...