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Partners sign up for Global Xpress

Inmarsat has announced the latest partners for its forthcoming Global Xpress Ka-band service, after the Telemar Group and Florida-based GMPCS Personal Communications were named as the first Value Added Resellers for the product, while JRC has signed up to provide a range of connectivity solutions for the service.

The deal with the Japanese manufacturer, which has a longstanding relationship with Inmarsat through multiple generations of services, will see JRC develop a Global Xpress Ka-band antenna, while also expanding into offering airtime and support.

“The development of Inmarsat products has always been closely integrated with quality hardware and antenna manufacturers to arrive at superb connectivity solutions,” said Frank Coles, president, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Our fourth generation satellite service, the FleetBroadband platform, has rested heavily on reliable providers like JRC. As the launch of Global Xpress draws closer, Inmarsat is focused on continuing to integrate this new generation of high throughput services (HTS) with reliable and proven hardware solutions into easy to use products for the shipping market.”

“In our effort to create attractive, bundled products we see that the strategic partnership with JRC will be extremely important.”

In related news, Harms Bergung in Germany and Netherlands-based heavy lift shipping company Jumbo have agreed deals to install Inmarsat’s XpressLink service on their ships, including the option of a free upgrade to Global Xpress.

Harms Bergung, a transport and heavy lifting maritime services company, is to equip its anchor handling tug fleet with the integrated Ku-band and L-band service, which will be supplied for a fixed monthly cost.

The service will support always-on data speeds of 768 kbps, and, when the VSAT service is active, a committed information rate of 192 kbps.

The agreement with Harms Bergung was reached in conjunction with German maritime communications company DH-INTERCOM, one of the first Inmarsat-approved XpressLink distributors. This is the second XpressLink contract agreed by DH-INTERCOM in Germany.

“We had considered using VSAT for our offshore anchor handling tug fleet, but no existing VSAT provider was able to offer a fully managed Ku-/L-band system at a fixed rate,” said Thomas Rogalla, managing director of Harms Bergung.

“We believe the equipment on board our fleet must be of the highest quality and we selected Inmarsat’s XpressLink because our IT specialists were confident that the combined package of VSAT and FleetBroadband will deliver continuous, global and reliable coverage.”

“Naturally the ability to double our VSAT bandwidth at the same fixed monthly cost when Global Xpress becomes commercially available in 2014 makes strong business sense.”

Jumbo will also equip its entire fleet of 12 specialised heavy lift vessels. These ships have a lifting capacity from 500t up to 1,800t, which will be added to, starting in 2013, by a new generation of vessels with record breaking lifting capacity of 3,000t.

“During the initial tender phase we selected different parties,” said Marco Cevat, IT manager for Jumbo.

“The choice for Inmarsat was based on the fact that it delivers a fully managed Ku-/L-band system at a fixed rate.”

“We were also impressed with the level of consultative thinking from Inmarsat. The demand for more bandwidth is increasing on a monthly basis and with this solution we are confident that Inmarsat’s combined package of VSAT and FleetBroadband will deliver us a reliable future proof connection.”

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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