Inmarsat passes 10,000-vessel Fleet Xpress installation milestone


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Inmarsat has completed its 10,000th Fleet Xpress vessel installation. Fleet Xpress is a global connectivity platform for vessels, with ship data consumption doubling during 2020, Inmarsat said an increasing number of superyacht owners and managers are among those benefiting from the service.

Strong customer growth has seen Inmarsat report average daily download rates per vessel of around 8GB as of December 2020. This compares with less than 4GB at the mid-year point of 2020.

Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime said the Fleet Xpress continues to be the superyacht sector’s gold standard for mobile broadband.

“We are now entering a ‘Fleet Xpress 2.0 ’era as it moves way beyond a connectivity pipe and becomes a true digital platform, with our Fleet Data service now integrated as part of Fleet Xpress with the basic level of fleet data free of charge. This allows access to an ecosystem of applications and value-added services available on demand.”

‘Covid-19 brought a major spike in data demand’

Spithout added: “Covid-19 has brought a major spike in data demand for crew connectivity and our Fleet Hotspot wi-fi solution has gained exceptional traction. But the arrival of Fleet Data as maritime’s first secure and scalable Internet of Things platform has also been pivotal.

“With 10,000 vessels worldwide now depending on Fleet Xpress 24/7, this is a moment to express our thanks to our end-users and our technology, installation, manufacturing and channel partners and to reflect on 2020 as the tipping point for maritime digitalisation.”

Inmarsat will also launch a series of incentives over the coming weeks to celebrate the significant milestone.

The installation landmark was reached during the same month as Inmarsat’s most powerful satellite entered service. GX5 provides additional capability to customers of Fleet Xpress in Europe and the Middle East, delivering approximately double the combined capacity of the entire existing GX fleet (GX1-GX4).

Fleet Xpress for superyachts offers a range of benefits such as subscription flexibility, affordable voice calls, multiple voice options for crew and operations and high-speed broadband for internet access, plus 24/7 online support by certified engineers.

‘Maritime digitalisation is now unstoppable’

On the security side, its multi-layer cyber defence solution, Fleet Secure Portfolio, offers compliance to the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2021 cyber security risk management requirements.

“Maritime digitalisation is now unstoppable,” said Spithout. “The market is becoming mature enough to support its own digital ecosystem with separate bandwidth channels for crew, applications and operations.”

Inmarsat plans a further seven satellite launches over the next four years, with two in highly elliptical orbit to deliver the world’s only commercial Arctic mobile broadband service.

“We believe that reliable, seamless connectivity with a platform such as Fleet Xpress is now more vital than ever and will play a crucial role in the accelerated adoption of digital technology as the world emerges from Covid-19,” concluded Spithout. “Our partners and customers can confidently invest in long-term, transformational global digitalisation.”

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