Inmarsat has announced the launch of Fleet LTE, a new GSM connectivity service in the North Sea, following an agreement with offshore LTE network operator Tampnet.
The new service is primarily aimed at offshore support vessel operators, but could also be used by fishing and ferry operators operating in the area, the company said.
The system connects via a dedicated Access Point Name (APN) on the Tampnet North Sea LTE network. With the deal in place, Inmarsat customers with North Sea operations will be able to subscribe to 4G, Fleet Xpress VSAT and L-band connectivity within a single, fully managed hybrid package.
“Inmarsat is a leader in a market that has significant untapped potential for Tampnet’s premium LTE services, and we are really pleased to add such a great company to our list of partners,” said Tampnet CEO, Per Helge Svensson.
“Inmarsat provide 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.”
Inmarsat Fleet LTE is available in a range of service bands with data speeds up to 40 Mbps and Round Trip Delay latency of around 35-40ms. When LTE is not available, services automatically switch over to Ka-band Fleet Xpress, with back-up from L-band FleetBroadband.
Service transition between LTE and VSAT is fully automated, with routing depending on data needs and network conditions. To access the service vessels need to add two LTE antennas and a modem on deck, 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,” said Eric Griffin, VP of Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime.
“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.”