The new service leverages low latency, high data speed communications available via a dedicated Access Point Name (APN) on the Tampnet North Sea LTE network. Primarily aimed at offshore support vessel operators, Fleet LTE could also be used by fishing and ferry service sectors, and has the potential to be extended to other regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Customers will be able to access high speed 4G and Fleet Xpress VSAT Ka-band and continuous L-band connectivity within a single, fully managed hybrid package. The unique ‘three-in-one’ offer delivers 4G, VSAT Ka-band and L-band without the complication of dual billing or the risk of connectivity drop-off.
Agreeing its own APN means Inmarsat can guarantee customers access to LTE services enabled via Tampnet’s 3,000km subsea fibre network.
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 to 40 ms. 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. Meanwhile, connectivity via FleetBroadband continues even outside the LTE coverage area. Fully automated
Service transition between LTE and VSAT is fully automated, with routing depending on data needs and network conditions, while vessels only need to add two LTE antennas and a modem on deck to enable the upgrade, which can be rented or purchased.
Inmarsat Fleet LTE also comes without hidden costs and offers owners plan flexibility to support business demand from third parties. Owners can choose from various LTE plans up to 40 Mbps, upgrade and downgrade between packages without additional fees, and choose separated dedicated bandwidth plans for charterers.
Tampnet CEO Per Helge Svensson said Inmarsat is a leader in a market that has significant untapped potential for Tampnet’s premium LTE services and the company is really pleased to add such a great company to the firm's list of partners. Inmarsat provides services to large fleets of offshore vessels that fall in our LTE network footprint. The North Sea is a natural starting point but we are also keen to explore how we can work with Inmarsat in other regions where Tampnet is present, such as the Gulf of Mexico.
Eric Griffin, VPnt, Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime added that as demand for data continues to grow – especially in the realm of high stakes decision-making where real time action is needed, such as for remotely operated vehicles or securing details on seabed conditions – low latency LTE bandwidth and satellite connectivity play crucial roles. Being able to exploit business-critical decision-making tools helps operators to cut non-productive operational time. As a service provider also offering failsafe connectivity via L-band for reasons of maritime safety, guaranteeing resiliency and performance whether vessels are on station or moving to/from shore are first principles for Inmarsat.
Also of note is that Inmarsat delisted the firm from the London Stock Exchange on December 5. This follows the buyout by Connect Bidco of the company for $3.3 billion, a move that was fully approved by the High Court of Justice in England and Wales as well as 79 percent of Inmarsat's shareholders and was the final step for this business acquisition to be finalized.