Inmarsat today announced its enhanced Maritime product roadmap consisting of two new services designed specifically for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network: Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband Xtra.

Fleet Xpress is a hybrid solution, which will operate over the Global Xpress Ka-band network, and incorporate Inmarsat’s L-band FleetBroadband service as back-up, providing a truly global and advanced connectivity service for maritime customers anywhere in the world. The solution will be available when Global Xpress (GX) commences global commercial services early in the second half of 2015. Fleet Xpress will be an Inmarsat managed service sold through the company’s experienced GX Value Added Resellers (VARs).

To allow maritime customers to benefit from high-speed broadband connectivity between now and global commercial introduction of the Global Xpress network, Inmarsat has announced an additional service, FleetBroadband Xtra. This service will overlay capacity from the first Global Xpress satellite (Inmarsat-5 F1), which is already operational, in the Indian Ocean region, with the existing L-band connectivity. As the next two Global Xpress satellites are launched, covering the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions, FleetBroadband Xtra will expand to include the additional Ka-band capacity as each satellite enters commercial service.

“Our services are designed to provide seamless mobility and high-speed broadband for ship to shore communications,” said Peter Broadhurst, Vice President Service Development, Inmarsat Maritime. “With the introduction of FleetBroadband Xtra and, when our GX constellation is complete, Fleet Xpress, we are providing customers with consistently higher bandwidth communications which will increase operational efficiency whilst also providing exclusive access to specialist maritime applications and content through our Inmarsat Gateway.”

Once I-5 F2 and I-5 F3 are fully operational, expected to be early in the second half of 2015, FleetBroadband Xtra will be phased out. All customers will have a transitional period as they migrate onto the Fleet Xpress service.

Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime said: “We are proud to bring the benefits of Inmarsat’s GX network to the maritime market. Based on great test results so far using Inmarsat-5 F1, our partners and customers have requested new maritime services to allow them to take advantage of the high-speed Ka-band alongside their existing L-band services. The FleetBroadband Xtra service will allow customers to do just that and, as coverage becomes available with the launch of our next two GX satellites, they will be able to take advantage until they ultimately progress to the full Fleet Xpress service when GX is commercially introduced on a global scale.”

Both services support the type approved antennas from Inmarsat’s manufacturer partners in both 60cm and 1m sizes.

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