Shipowners, operators and managers will be able to download real-time data to improve navigational safety and reduce accident risks. Updates for ECDIS and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) will be accessed in real-time using L-band satellite links using existing terminals.
Inmarsat has signed the first of what it expects to be many agreements to host third-party applications on its L-band service, FleetBroadband. It signed a contract with SRH Marine SAIT at the end of February to enable ENC updates and safety notices to mariners to be transmitted over its L-band coverage to ships worldwide.
It will provide dedicated bandwidth on an Access Point Name (APN) host on FleetBroadband for the SRH Delta platform, which includes chart updates, publications and notices to mariners.
Inmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications the agreement was signed after tests at Inmarsat’s research facilities in Ålesund, Norway, and full sea trials conducted by SRH Marine over a three-month period.
“The SRH Delta platform allows shipowners and managers worldwide to update ECDIS charts seamlessly and securely, on demand and without interrupting their primary bandwidth service,” said Mr Spithout.
This agreement negates the need for owners to upgrade satellite communications to more expensive VSAT technology to access updates for ECDIS and ENCs.
Mr Spithout explained its APN technology provides the platform for FleetBroadband to host other real-time vessel management applications from third-party suppliers.
Inmarsat is planning to roll-out a suite of new services for FleetBroadband over the coming months to enable shipowners and managers to adopt more digitalisation applications.
“This proves that FleetBroadband connectivity can help support shipping’s transition to digitalisation for mission-critical applications”
Developing the APN and trials with SRH “prove that FleetBroadband connectivity can help support shipping’s transition to digitalisation for mission-critical applications,” said Mr Spithout, adding that FleetBroadband is used by around 40,000 vessels.
SRH Marine chief executive John Laderos expects SRH Delta to engage shipowners to adopt more e-navigation technology this year and into the next decade.
“Our platform is a practical solution for owners seeking to accelerate their e-navigation strategies,” he explained.
“This agreement addresses a critical aspect of evolving demands in the international marine technology market for high-technology navigation tools and strengthens our commitment to navigate the future.”
Inmarsat is investing in L-band connectivity to boost capacity for maritime applications and platforms such as SRH Delta. “Our I-6 satellites, the first of which is planned for launch next year, will add both L-band and Ka-band capacity to the network,” said Mr Spithout.
The I-6 satellites will support Inmarsat’s IMO-approved global safety services, such as Fleet Safety, and low-cost mobile services for digitalisation applications.
See Inmarsat's white paper on internet of things at sea in the Knowledge Bank:
Maritime digitalisation and cyber security will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media's Maritime Cyber Risk Management Forum, in London, on 25 June.