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Commercial introduction of Fleet Xpress begins

Inmarsat has announced the full commercial launch of Fleet Xpress, the maritime broadband service operating over its Global Xpress Ka-band network, backed by L-band FleetBroadband as a back-up.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}“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.”

A fully integrated service, Fleet Xpress will switch automatically between Ka-band and L-band as required, offering a committed information rate backed-up by service level agreements.

Vessels will require a 1m or 60cm Global Xpress antenna and terminal to connect to the service, offered by Intellian, JRC and Cobham SATCOM, as well as a FleetBroadband terminal (either FleetBroadband 500 or FleetBroadband 250).

A Network Service Device (NSD) is also required, which manages bandwidth and traffic flow through the terminals, and connects to an Inmarsat Gateway user interface for service configuration and management functionality, such as setting access rights for different user groups.

Inmarsat is working with a number of partners to deliver Fleet Xpress into the market, including Network Innovations, Marlink and SingTel, with additional partners expected to complete the Fleet Xpress “on-boarding” process in the coming months.

“At Marlink we have successfully interconnected our HTS-ready network to the GX network,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president maritime, Marlink.

“This demonstrates our readiness to deliver end-to-end, managed services to customers that combines seamless GX connectivity with our Value Added Solutions and our XChange service delivery platform.”{/mprestriction}

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    Brazil-based startup i4sea and Inmarsat have signed an agreement for i4sea to join a group of certified application providers to provide a dedicated application for Inmarsat’s Fleet Data service.

    Fleet Data collects data from onboard sensors, pre-processes that data, and uploads it to a central cloud-based database, equipped with a dashboard and an Application Programming Interface (API).

    The partnership came as a result of the Bluetech Accelerator, a program created by the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea in 2019 to create an ecosystem of maritime innovation and business acceleration. i4sea was one of 20 startups around the world – and the only one from Latin America - selected to develop pilot projects with maritime market leaders including Inmarsat.

    Headquartered in Salvador, Brazil and with offices in São Paulo, Shanghai and London, i4sea will provide a high-precision sea and weather forecasting application with up to seven days forecasting in advance through i4cast’s Atm Ocean tool.

    “As a Certified Application Provider, we will be constantly developing new features to generate increasingly powerful tools for the maritime market,” said i4sea CEO Bruno Balbi. “Working with a company like Inmarsat is really a great deal for i4sea and this is the first smart system that integrates in a single platform, all the essential tools to support decision making regarding vessel’s maneuvers and port terminal’s operations,” he said.

    Six integrated tools are offered and includes services such as ocean and weather hyperlocal forecasts, dynamic draft prediction, terminal efficiency analytics and analysis and prediction of siltation or erosion dynamics of the seabed.

    “We are delighted to be working with such an innovative start-up such as i4Sea, a company we worked with as part of the Portuguese Bluetech accelerator programme earlier this year,” said Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, head of digital Solutions, Inmarsat Maritime. “

    “This tie-up will allow ship operators and managers to both route plan and improve terminal efficiency and this is all achieved through the i4sea application on Fleet Data and via a secure platform that is fully scalable, fleet-wide and now commercially available on both Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband,” said Mr Camporeale.

    Currently, i4sea's clients include Brazilian companies such as TECON Salvador (Wilson, Sons), Açu Petróleo, CSN Coal and Ore Terminal, Cotegipe Port, Bahia’s Maritime Authority, Itajaí Port, Enseada, among others. There are also international contracts with the ports of Leixões and Sines, in Portugal.

     

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