Published: Monday, 13 June 2016

Global mobile satellite communications services Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L) entered into an important strategic partnership with SpeedCast International (ASX: SDA), high-speed broadband connectivity provider for maritime industry.

Inmarsats Fleet Xpress Installed On First Superyacht

(Photos: Inmarsat - Juliet)

Under the strategic alliance announced June 13, SpeedCast will work closely with Inmarsat in key maritime markets around the world to promote and roll out Fleet Xpress services to existing and new customers.  SpeedCast will further position Inmarsat’s globally available FleetBroadband service as a back-up of choice for its maritime VSAT services.

Fleet Xpress service was fully integrated with SpeedCast’s existing maritime SIGMA gateway and other value-added services. Over the next five years, SpeedCast has committed to rolling out Fleet Xpress to approximately 2,000 vessels.

Fleet Xpress service delivers high data speeds that are enabled by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band technology combined with the proven reliability of Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband L-band service. Inmarsat offers the service based on committed data rates backed-up by service level agreements which guarantee that customers receive the service for which they are paying.

"This is a very important strategic alliance for Inmarsat,” says Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat.  “Today’s announcement deepens our valuable partnership and we will work together to deliver the ‘Connected Ship’.  This new agreement with SpeedCast also significantly strengthens Inmarsat’s position in the global maritime business; a sector in which we have been the Maritime connectivity leader for over 35 years, and this sector will continue to be an important focus for us."

Inmarsats Fleet Xpress Installed On First Superyacht 1

“This new strategic partnership with Inmarsat is the logical expansion of our cooperation, which has been going from strength to strength over the past few years.” says Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO of SpeedCast. “Both companies are committing to each other with an objective to grow the maritime VSAT market to the next level. It confirms SpeedCast’s status as a leading global player in the maritime sector, and we are fully committed to continue investing and executing on our growth strategy in this exciting market.”

Inmarsat received the first commitment to its Fleet Xpress service by a superyacht Owner weeks after commercial launch in a deal secured through its distributor e3 Systems.

Inmarsat-approved Fleet Xpress hardware was installed on sail yacht Juliet at the beginning of May, bringing Fleet Xpress connectivity on board the Ron Holland-designed, 44m ketch built by Royal Huisman Shipyard in the Netherlands.

The Fleet Xpress installation is the finishing touch to a refit in the STP shipyard of yachting hub Palma de Mallorca. The project involved the installation of a new Sailor 100GX VSAT system and the Inmarsat GX bespoke below deck equipment configuration. The yacht was re-launched at the end of May 2016.

Inmarsats Fleet Xpress Installed On First Superyacht 2

“For those on board a superyacht, Fleet Xpress delivers an unprecedented level of voice and data connectivity afloat,” says Inmarsat Maritime Chief Sales Officer Gerbrand Schalkwijk. “Always-on bandwidth and data speeds that are well suited for S/Y Juliet´s unique sailing itinerary ensures that the Owner and crew will be able to connect wherever they are in the world. Vessel operations can also be smart, using continuously updated weather, chart, mooring, and machine monitoring data. Once taken up in this market, the bandwidth, accessibility from everywhere and reliability delivered by Fleet Xpress will simply become prerequisites.” 

With accommodation for eight guests and a professional crew of seven, Juliet is luxurious in every way, from the hand rubbed mahogany detail throughout to her array of water toys and audio-visual entertainment.

“e3 Systems installed the first Inmarsat Fleet 77 on-board a yacht in 2002, and the first VSAT in 2004,”  says e3 Systems Group Managing Director Roger Horner. “The installation of Fleet Xpress on a superyacht is a natural progression in a market where Owners and crew expect excellent connectivity from the moment they step aboard. We are delighted to continue working with Inmarsat in order to deliver the highest level of communications solutions to our clients.”