Inmarsat said it has launched a new set of Fleet
Xpress plans designed specifically to meet the technical and
commercial requirements of offshore support vessels
According to Inmarsat , the new plan exploits high-speed
connections and guaranteed performance to offer vessel operators
levels of flexibility that are naturally suited to the demanding
requirements of a high-end sector such as offshore support.
As connectivity needs on board OSVs change frequently and swings
in data usage are likely to be more pronounced than for
conventional cargo ships, free upgrades and downgrades in service
levels are accommodated during the 36-month contract period.
When on-hire, the appetite for bandwidth from OSVs can be
immense. Projects often generate considerable volumes of data
that need sending back to shore for analysis, with third-party
contractors onboard and an intense working environment.
Furthermore, OSV operators also traditionally are generous with
Supported by a 1m antenna, Fleet Xpress for OSVs delivers
committed information rates of up to 3Mbps for uploads and 6Mbps
for downloads with a standard antenna, climbing to 5Mbps and
10Mbps respectively with an enhanced antenna. When off-hire, a
more economic 128kbps/128Kbps link may be sufficient to keep core
operational data exchange ticking over.
This elasticity means that OSV operators can utilize the full
potential of Fleet Xpress for the duration of a project and then
switch to a narrower 'standby' link between projects, also
avoiding early termination costs. A network service device (NSD)
manages bandwidth and regulates the flow of data traffic between
the vessel and shore. The offer also includes provision for
owners to suspend services for up to 180 days, subject to
equivalent contract term extension.
"The global footprint of Fleet Xpress means OSVs can count on
reliable connectivity wherever in the world they are deployed,"
said Eric Griffin, VP Maritime, Offshore Energy and Fisheries,
Inmarsat. "Unlike conventional VSAT installations, Fleet Xpress
is designed for seamless global mobility and automated satellite
and beam switching, supported by the added resilience of
unlimited FleetBroadband back-up. Inmarsat satellites are
supported by redundant land-based infrastructure to ensure
network availability, as defined in the service level agreements
that form part of a subscription."
In addition, the new set of OSV plans can be used in conjunction
with new hardware from existing terminal manufacturers that will
provide a dual antenna solution to minimize outages caused by
line of sight blockages, a common occurrence for OSV vessels due
to their proximity to rigs and operating in high seas. This will
be managed by a single antenna control unit that will handle the
service and seamless switching between antennas.
"The connectivity requirements of offshore support vessels place
unique demands on satellite operators. Successful and timely
completion of a contract is increasingly dependent on a highly
resilient, high-capacity data link. The technology behind Fleet
Xpress has the capacity to meet these demands and our new plan
sets a precedent in joining the dots between the technical
requirements and commercial realities of OSV operation and
highlights how Fleet Xpress can be used in the energy sector,"