International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO)
Founded in 1979 as the International Maritime Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) to establish a satellite system to improve maritime communications for distress and safety and commercial applications. Its competence was subsequently expanded to include aeronautical and land mobile communications. Privatization, due to be completed in April 1999, transfers the business to a newly created company and the Organization remains as a regulator to ensure that the company fulfils its public services obligations. The company is to take the Inmarsat name and the Organization is to use the acronym IMSO. In March 1999 the Organization had 86 member Parties.