Global mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat plans to extend its Fleet LTE coverage for offshore service vessels to the Gulf of Mexico.
Inmarsat said that the decision to expand in the Gulf of Mexico followed successful trials with V.Ships Offshore in the North Sea area in early 2020.
"In conjunction with Inmarsat’s service provider One Net, the North Sea trials were undertaken with ship management company V.Ships Offshore at the beginning of 2020, delivering hybrid connectivity via 4G cellular plus satellite coverage on VSAT Ka-band and L-band, without the complication of dual billing or the risk of disconnection," Inmarsat said,
V.Ships Offshore, based in Aberdeen, covers ship management and technical services, as well as crew management and recruitment.
The new Gulf of Mexico coverage extension adds to the existing agreement already in place with subsea fiber and offshore LTE network operator, Tampnet, following the Fleet LTE North Sea service launch in November 2019.
“We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the stability and quality of Fleet LTE service throughout the trial and the automatic and seamless switching between networks, which has removed the risk of any disconnection in service that would normally effect our day-to-day activities,” said Scott Bryce, Vessel Manager, V.Ships Offshore. “The service plan flexibility has also given us the ability to move up and down plans when needed, to support our changing bandwidth demands, and there are no hidden admin fees to worry about.”
"The expansion of the Fleet LTE service means customers in both the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico can access high-speed 4G, Fleet Xpress maritime VSAT Ka-band and continuous L-band connectivity within a single, fully managed hybrid package," Inmarsat said.
Inmarsat said its 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 35-40ms.
"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," the company said.
The company did not say when exactly the services would become available in the Gulf of Mexico.