Inmarsat is selling a portfolio of ship communications contracts it has with shipowners in Greece and Cyprus for FleetBroadband L-band to SRH Connect (SRH)
These contracts were purchased by Inmarsat Maritime Ventures at the start of the year from Speedcast, which was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the time. SRH already provides customer support for Inmarsat’s Fleet network manager portfolio after signing a customer support agreement in March 2021. As part of this latest agreement, SRH will become an Inmarsat distribution partner for FleetBroadband and a value-added reseller for Fleet Xpress.
This comes as more ships are upgrading communications to Fleet Xpress, which combines FleetBroadband with Ka-band connectivity from the Global Xpress satellite network.
Inmarsat Maritime president Ronald Spithout said this agreement with SRH will ensure continuation of satellite communications contracts for owners in Greece and Cyprus.
“It remains our preference to entrust the FleetBroadband base generally in the Greek and Cypriot market with partners rather than handling direct, allowing them the opportunity to upsell to Fleet Xpress,” said Mr Spithout.
SRH executive chairman John Laderos was equally pleased with the contracts transfer agreement. “With this agreement, SRH is going back to its roots, connecting the maritime world again,” Mr Laderos said. “At the same time, this is also the basis for the execution of our vision for the future of shipping. A future where connectivity will be the basis for our suite of digital solutions.”
These solutions integrate entire ships and fleets with business environments on shore.
SRH chief executive Theodoros Nikolopoulos expects more owners to invest in fleet communications. “We look forward to providing a high level of account management to this set of unique customers in Greece and Cyprus with the opportunity to upsell to Fleet Xpress,” said Mr Nikolopoulos.
Speedcast built this portfolio of FleetBroadband contracts through organic growth and corporate acquisitions. But its mounting debts drove it into bankruptcy protection and a garage sale of assets, including these contracts to Inmarsat, during its financial restructuring.
In May, Inmarsat Maritime Ventures appointed Athina Vezyri as a senior advisor. She was previously Speedcast’s executive vice president for maritime and was chair of SRH Marine Electronics between 1995 and 2016.
Ms Vezyri was brought in to work closely with Inmarsat Maritime to provide ongoing support to ships already using Fleet Xpress and to support future requirements including assisting with the backlog of Inmarsat Fleet Xpress installations.
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