Back in February 1999 when the full Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was introduced, the recreational cruising community were mostly excluded from its benefits.  Primarily due to one factor.  Cost.

The sole satellite provider from the get go has been INMARSAT.  Finally 20 years later, IRIDIUM is getting a chance to provide a GMDSS solution.

IRIDIUM is promising enhanced functions at 25% of the cost of present day solutions.  In house marketing material makes it clear they wish to target non solas vessels including the recreational cruising market.

I am picking this service will become the future of safety at sea communications. 

But don't let that stop you from purchasing a DSC capable MF/HF radio.  HF will be with us for some time yet!

https://www.iridium.com/services/gmdss/