Global Mobile Satellite System

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The Global Mobile Satellite System (GMSS) is a general term referring to the selection of satellite phone providers available to private customers. It is a term analogous to PLMN, referring to wireless telephony (cellular) carriers, and PSTN, referring to traditional wire-based telephony.

As of 2008, the allocated GMSS carriers are:

In 1996, the ITU introduced country code +881 for direct international dialing of phones on a GMSS provider. (Inmarsat had already been allocated country codes +870 - +874.) The next digit following the country code is allocated (two at a time) to a particular GMSS carrier:[1]

Carrier GMSS codes
ICO +881 0
+881 1
Ellipso +881 2
+881 3
spare +881 4
+881 5
Iridium +881 6
+881 7
Globalstar +881 8
+881 9

Satellite numbers outside the GMSS country code[edit]

Inmarsat is a satellite-based communications provider, but it is primarily a maritime service and is not generally considered part of the GMSS.

Globalstar usually allocates subscribers with a local number in the country they are based rather than using their GMSS country code.

Iridium also uses an Arizona-based access number to call Iridium phones for those unwilling or unable to call the usually expensive GMSS number directly.

Thuraya has been assigned +882-16 which is part of the +882 country code.


  1. ^ ITU-T SG2 NCT: E.164 country code 881 plus two 1-digit ICs