Solstad Offshore agrees hybrid connectivity deal with Inmarsat

Solstad Offshore has agreed a deal with Inmarsat to implement the new Fleet LTE service, to provide hybrid GSM and VSAT connectivity to a group of its North Sea vessels.

Inmarsat Fleet LTE, launched for North Sea customers last year, delivers connectivity via 4G cellular connections, delivered by Tampnet, plus satellite coverage on Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress Ka-band and FleetBroadband L-band services, switching between networks on a fully automated basis.

The Fleet LTE router manages automatic switching between LTE and VSAT automatically so that service integrity, speed and latency are optimised. Following successful trials on board three Solstad vessels over the first three months of 2021, Fleet LTE will now be commissioned on the remaining relevant vessels, the companies said.

“The Fleet LTE combination of bandwidth, reasonable pricing and guaranteed connectivity makes sense in today’s offshore market, which is simultaneously cost driven and hungry to exploit the opportunities created by digitalisation and real time data analytics,” said Christian Nesheim, ICT Director, Solstad Offshore.

In addition to North Sea coverage, Inmarsat plans to develop an equivalent bundled offering for offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico following an extension of its agreement with LTE network operator Tampnet.

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