Tidewater moves 50+ vessels to Fleet Xpress

Offshore support vessel operator Tidewater is to move the majority of its active fleet to Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress Ka-band VSAT service, as part of a digitalisation upgrade programme.

Tidewater was one of the largest users of Inmarsat’s legacy iFusion service, which was scheduled for network shutdown on December 31, 2020. With that product reaching end of life, Tidewater worked with Inmarsat to create a joint project team to manage fast track vessel installations and upgrades ahead of the new year.

The team was tasked with delivering the project in six months, with a scope of 60 active vessels, across 15 countries and involving 75 people from the combined organisations.

The migration was successfully achieved before year-end, the companies report, with no vessels experiencing any disruption during the iFusion shutdown. In January, Tidewater will have 56 active vessels with Fleet Xpress.

“This transformational project advanced Tidewater to a new level of vessel communications with Fleet Xpress’s combination of high-speed Ka-band and continuous back-up using L-band creating an always on bandwidth for our vessels,” said Tidewater’s Cherise Brooks, the IT program manager for this project.

“Tidewater has deployed this new technology to provide internet demands for crews and customers, a capability previously not available for these vessels. The project success of achieving an aggressive six-month schedule and significantly upgrading our fleet with advanced technology was only made possible by the exceptional efforts of the Tidewater shore-based teams, Tidewater crew members, Inmarsat and their partners.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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