The AST Group (AST) has announced the first commercial installation of the new Iridium Certus L-band communications service since the official launch of Certus in January, with long-time AST partner Alphatron Marine deploying the system onboard the Oceanwide Expeditions’ vessel Rembrandt Van Rijn.
The vessel, originally built as a herring lugger in the last century, is now used for cruise expeditions in the polar regions, carrying up to 33 passengers on board at one time.
“We are proud to be part of the world’s first commercial Certus installation with our valued customer Oceanwide Marine Services,” said Dennis Winterswijk, Business Unit Manager ITAV & Communication at Alphatron Marine.
“Certus is delivered to the vessel via a Cobham 4300 terminal and provides guests onboard the possibility to share their Arctic cruise experience with friends and family. The service has been running smoothly since installation and has resulted in a full roll-out of Iridium Certus on all vessels in their fleet.”
In addition to the Certus connectivity package, AST is also providing real-time application management via its INTEGRA Control system, as well as vessel tracking and support services.
“We see the great partnership between our team and our partners as a key component in the successful launch, and world’s first commercial connection, of Iridium Certus,” said Mark Sykes, AST Director.
“Our partner Alphatron is a sophisticated maritime organisation who really understands the compelling value that AST adds to the Certus proposition – the resulting AST/Alphatron service is so much more than just airtime and a terminal, and that’s exactly what the market tells us is needed.”