Panasonic Avionics Corp subsidiary ITC Global will start offering Ka-band connectivity to shipping, offshore and superyachts worldwide after signing an agreement with Inmarsat
This agreement will be on top of ITC Global’s current satellite communications services focused on wideband and high-throughput spot beams of Ku-band VSAT and C-band.
Under this five-year strategic co-operation, ITC Global will offer Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress service, which combines connectivity over the Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band network with Inmarsat’s flagship FleetBroadband L-band service.
“Using our combined expertise of Ku-, L- and Ka-bands, we will meet the individual demands of maritime and offshore customers,” said ITC Global chief executive Ian Dawkins.
“The agreement will enable us to extract further value from the synergies between our organisations and leverage our mutual technology and product innovations to fully support the operational requirements of customers,” he added.
These services will include Fleet Xpress for offshore support vessels and mobile drilling rigs.
Inmarsat Maritime vice president for offshore and high-end fishing Eric Griffin sees this co-operation as part of Inmarsat’s commitment to providing the offshore and wider maritime community “with global, reliable and flexible broadband connectivity anywhere in the world to meet their rapidly growing digitalisation needs”.
Inmarsat has found success with its Fleet Xpress services, with GX connectivity now used by more than 8,000 vessels worldwide.
Crew welfare, regulatory and operational requirements are drivers for uptake in Ka-band communications.
Benefits include affordable voice calls, multiple voice options for crew and operations and high-speed broadband for internet access.
For offshore clients, Fleet Xpress provides added subscription flexibility to meet seasonal and short-term demand changes.
Inmarsat has commissioned five GX satellites to date and plans to launch another eight over the next five years to deliver higher bandwidth to more shipping fleets worldwide.