09 February 2021 – Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has implemented an agreement with Geoquip Marine allowing the offshore geotechnical solutions provider to offer dedicated Fleet Xpress bandwidth as part of its vessel charter arrangements and separated connectivity for personnel onboard.
Four Geoquip integrated geotechnical survey vessels have introduced Fleet Xpress Charterer Network services for sole use by charterers plus connectivity via Fleet Hotspot Wi-Fi services for those working at sea. In a set-up that is unique to Inmarsat, Fleet Xpress allows multiple networks to be connected to the vessel via a single antenna, with activation requiring no new hardware or shipboard installation work.
The vessels are currently operating off the US East Coast, off Taiwan, and in Europe. “Effectively, the client has its own private, fully secure Charterer Network to handle geo-data, and Fleet Hotspot Wi-Fi connectivity for personnel using either pre-paid or pay-as-you-go data use models,” said Eric Griffin, Vice President Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime. “The client controls who sees the data, the Committed and Maximum Information Rates (CIR and MIR), and the analytics management.”
Nico Meijering, Head of Marine Operations, Geoquip Marine, commented: “By using the full capabilities of Fleet Xpress, we can offer our clients their own separate network to deploy the committed and maximum information rates capacity they require. Having the ability to use multiple segregated networks in connecting to the vessel also enhances cyber security.”
“Being able to offer the Charterer Network service to drilling companies without adding hardware gives the Fleet Xpress user a competitive edge at the contract tendering stage,” Griffin emphasised. “Lower speed networks need additional antennas to support a comparable service. Segregated network capability is a core capability for Fleet Xpress, activated on request. We expect others to follow Geoquip’s lead.”
“Provision of a dedicated, high-speed network for crew and contractors via Fleet Hotspot offers a major enhancement to welfare on board,” added Griffin. “Inmarsat monitors use and adjusts capacity to reflect the needs of those working at sea.”
The crew is also advised on how to access SeafarerHelp and the ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network) portal which includes a free, confidential, multilingual chat helpline function, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Charterer Network/Fleet Hotspot offer provides a new example of Inmarsat’s redoubled commitment to flexible service provision for maritime and offshore customers. It recently unveiled ORCHESTRA – the first of its kind multi-dimensional network, integrating Inmarsat’s ELERA (L-band) and Global Xpress (Ka-band) networks with terrestrial 5G, low earth orbit (LEO) capacity to meet accelerating bandwidth requirements and eliminate congestion at hot spots, including busy ports and sea canals.
Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.
The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for more than 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.
Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government, Aviation and Enterprise satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.