Marlink is the first maritime satellite communications provider to integrate Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network with its own systems. It is able to offer Inmarsat’s technology as Fleet Xpress services to shipping and other maritime industries, along with its own digital solutions, such as XChange and SkyFile. Fleet Xpress involves Ka-band coverage from a fifth generation of Inmarsat’s satellites along with FleetBroadband L-band back-up using the Inmarsat-4 constellation.
To achieve this, Marlink has implemented Global Xpress across its own global network infrastructure and service delivery platform. This has been tested on all three Global Xpress satellites and ground stations covering the Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions.
Marlink’s own digital solutions are already installed on thousands of ships to deliver efficient management of communications and IT on board, data allocation and remote access from shore. Ships migrating to Ka-band services on Fleet Xpress can continue using existing XChange and SkyFile services, although they will need to upgrade or replace VSAT antennas.
Marlink president for maritime solutions Tore Morten Olsen said the combination of Global Xpress and his company’s digital solutions would enable shipowners to enhance their satellite communications and applications. “We have invested significantly in our collaboration with Inmarsat to become one of the first service providers to achieve full Global Xpress readiness,” he said.
“The combination of Inmarsat’s new high throughput services and our technology and applications portfolio is a strong value proposition for customers looking to develop their fleet operations and crew welfare using cutting-edge maritime satellite communications solutions.”
Shipowners can use XChange and SkyFile to deliver optimised messaging and data transfer solutions for crew voice services, internet access and social media. This is also available for business communications, network remote monitoring, electronic navigational chart downloads, weather information and telemedicine.
Marlink expects demand for Fleet Xpress to increase now it is able to migrate ships across to the service. It will work with Inmarsat to jointly deliver more digital solutions over Fleet Xpress.