Offshore vessels and cruise ships with satellite communications obstruction issues can rectify this through a dual-antenna solution of Ka-band VSAT.
Speedcast International has introduced a dual-antenna programme for Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress service, which involves installing two Ka-band antennas to link with Global Xpress services and a FleetBroadband L-band back-up.
This combination will minimise the blockages to satellite communications that occur when vessels are operating near large structures. For example, when offshore supply vessels are working close to oil and gas production platforms and floating production platforms or when adventure cruise ships are operating close to icebergs, cliffs and glaciers. This dual-antenna solution is also suitable for commercial maritime vessels.
“This innovative dual-antenna system will have a dramatic impact on the Fleet Xpress user experience,” said Speedcast executive vice president for maritime Athina Vezyri.
“We are already seeing strong early take up on the dual-antenna promotion,” she said. “In addition to the demand in maritime, we are targeting the offshore supply vessel market at a time when we expect the energy market to grow.”
Speedcast has a backlog of orders for Fleet Xpress services with more than 600 vessels waiting for antennas and associated hardware to be installed.
It said the main advantage for a dual-antenna Fleet Xpress is more time spent on higher throughput rates of Ka-band than working on slower L-band. With Fleet Xpress, if Ka-band services are unavailable, the vessel automatically switches on to FleetBroadband, but this is required less with a dual-antenna service.
This hardware can be combined with new flexible airtime packages from Speedcast to meet the demands for short-term, high-bandwidth options in the energy sector.
Speedcast’s dual-antenna promotions includes a free Cobham 60-cm antenna with the lease of one primary 60-cm antenna on Fleet Xpress. Alternatively, vessel operators can choose to receive a 50% discount on a Cobham 1-m antenna when they rent or lease a primary 1-m antenna on Fleet Xpress.
Speedcast has experience with installation projects on offshore vessels, and is about to install a multi-solution telecommunication systems on a gas production platform operated by Noble Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, offshore Israel.
This includes a local area network, wifi, security cameras and voice over IP systems. Speedcast will also install structured cabling, radio systems, 4G connectivity, IPTV, a weather observation system and emergency satellite phones.