Inmarsat has signed partner agreements with Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom to distribute connectivity services in maritime, offshore, aviation and enterprise markets in Saudi Arabia
This allows the world’s top oil producer and its shipping companies to adopt satellite communications using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) network.
Sada Al Ammah will offer communications to merchant ships and offshore vessels operating in Saudi waters using Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress services that combine Ka-band GX with FleetBroadband L-band service for unlimited back-up.
Inmarsat has also signed an agreement with service company Master Systems for installation of Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband hardware, including terminals, cabling and antennas.
Shipping and offshore vessel owners will compete with other sectors for the L-band and Ka-band beams over Saudi Arabia. Global Beam Telecom and Sada Al Ammah will work with Inmarsat’s enterprise business for land-based GX and L-band applications. Sada Al Ammah will deliver GX connectivity for Inmarsat’s aviation business.
Inmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout said these agreements will enable owners to develop their digital strategies and improve crew communications. “Saudi Arabian shipping and offshore companies have shown an increasing appetite for the latest digital services to improve operating efficiencies,” said Mr Spithout.
“Owners now see the need for an ecosystem of value-added services to enable digitalisation, rather than just buying a VSAT connectivity pipe,” he said. “That is why we are seeing demand for Inmarsat’s Fleet Data IoT platform, our Fleet Secure suite of cyber security services and our crew welfare and retention solution, Fleet Hotspot.”
Inmarsat intends to increase GX capacity this year when it commissions the GX-5 satellite, which was launched in Q4 2019, later this year to meet surging demand for high-capacity broadband across Europe and the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia has a large fleet of offshore vessels supporting hydrocarbon exploration and development projects and production centres in the Middle East Gulf and Red Sea. It is a centre for tanker activity and has a growing container and bulk carrier sector.