Global mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) on Wednesday launched its highly anticipated Fleet Xpress, a new service that promises a “new era” in maritime satellite communications and guaranteed high-speed connectivity from anywhere on the world’s oceans.
The service is the first globally available, high-speed broadband service for maritime and offshore operators available from a single communications provider.
“Fleet Xpress is a ground-breaking new service that will shape communications at sea beyond recognition,” said Ronald Spithout, Inmarsat Maritime President.
“Through Fleet Xpress, ship owners and operators can experience unparalleled levels of performance and simplicity. It will provide the guaranteed high-speed connectivity that is essential to support the safest and most efficient vessel operations, anywhere in the world. While, in parallel, it will match the personal connectivity needs of even the most demanding modern seafarer, delivering services previously available only on shore,” Spithout added.
Fleet Xpress is based on Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress (GX) satellite constellation, combining the high data speeds of Ka-band with the ultra-reliable FleetBroadband L-band service for unlimited backup. The service is also fully integrated so it can switch automatically between Ka-band and L-band, ensuring an ‘always on’ guaranteed connection with a committed information rate.
Inmarsat says the new service will enhance business intelligence, operational efficiency, and vessel performance for owners and operators, as well as enhance crew welfare. It will also empower third party application providers to enhance their existing services and to develop a host of innovative new applications for more efficient operations, ranging from real-time monitoring, remote diagnostics and telemedicine, to security and crew service management tools, Inmarsat says.
Vessels will require a 1m or 60cm Global Xpress antenna and terminal, and a FleetBroadband terminal (either FleetBroadband 500 or FleetBroadband 250), that are pre-commissioned on the network to provide quick and easy plug and play deployment.
Inmarsat’s partners in delivering Fleet Xpress include Network Innovations, Marlink and Singtel. Additional partners are expected to complete the Fleet Xpress “on-boarding” process in the coming months.
‘Game-Changing’ Network Innovations
Eric Verheylewegen, Vice President and General Manager, Network Innovations commented: “Fleet Xpress is a game changer for the global maritime community. It is a unique offering as it delivers superior service even in areas that are not covered by traditional VSAT and provides the only truly unlimited L-band backup. We believe that the 60cm antenna will be very popular and the fact that Fleet Xpress voice services are not using your contracted bandwidth makes Fleet Xpress very good value as you can pick your package based solely on your data needs.
“We have put the service to the test in some of the most remote areas of the world and some of the worst possible weather conditions. We are very proud of having contributed to the refinement of the service and are delighted to see Fleet Xpress being launched globally today.”