Inmarsat announced recently it will extend its “three-in-one” Fleet LTE coverage for offshore service vessels to the Gulf of Mexico, following successful trials with V.Ships Offshore in the North Sea.
In conjunction with Inmarsat’s service provider One Net, the North Sea trials were undertaken with ship management company V.Ships Offshore in early 2020, delivering hybrid connectivity via 4G cellular plus satellite coverage on VSAT Ka-band and L-band, without the complication of dual billing or the risk of disconnection. V.Ships, based in Aberdeen, Scotland, offers ship management and technical services, as well as crew management and recruitment.The new Gulf of Mexico coverage extension adds to the existing agreement already in place with subsea fibre and offshore LTE network operator Tampnet following the Fleet LTE North Sea service launch in November 2019.
“We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the stability and quality of Fleet LTE service throughout the trial and the automatic and seamless switching between networks, which has removed the risk of any disconnection in service that would normally effect our day-to-day activities,” Scott Bryce, vessel manager, V.Ships Offshore, said in a prepared statement. “The service plan flexibility has also given us the ability to move up and down plans when needed, to support our changing bandwidth demands, and there are no hidden admin fees to worry about.”
The expansion of the Fleet LTE service means customers in both the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico can access high speed 4G, Fleet Xpress maritime VSAT Ka-band and continuous L-band connectivity within a single, fully managed hybrid package, Inmarsat said.
“The trial success with V.Ships Offshore supported by our partner One Net, is a real proof point for Fleet LTE and we are excited about the evolution of the service into the Gulf of Mexico, to support the recovery of the offshore sector and expansion into other regions and sectors in the future,” said Eric Griffin, vice president offshore and fishing, Inmarsat Maritime.
Inmarsat Fleet LTE is available in a range of service bands that deliver data speeds of up to 40 Mbps with round trip delay of around 35-40ms. However, when LTE is not available, services automatically switch over to Ka-band Fleet Xpress committed information rates, with continuous back-up from L-band FleetBroadband.
“Inmarsat is a leader in a market that has significant untapped potential for Tampnet’s premium LTE services, and we are really pleased to extend our agreement to the Gulf of Mexico based on the success of the trials,” said Tampnet CEO, Per Helge Svensson.