Canadian seafood company Clearwater Seafood has selected Inmarsat to provide satellite communications for crew welfare and operations support
Its fleet of fishing and research vessels will be connected through Fleet Xpress, a satellite communications service providing maritime broadband. Fleet Xpress combines Ka-band VSAT services over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network and L-band FleetBroadband as a back up.
Clearwater Seafood chose to install Fleet Xpress, replacing existing Ku-band VSAT, on seven vessels operating off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in eastern Canada. Each vessel is being fitted with Intellian’s GX100NX antennas for Ka-band communications.
“Robust connectivity for the crew is imperative for Clearwater,” said Clearwater Seafood director for Canadian fleet operations Brad MacKinnon. “We have over 400 personnel at sea who expect stable and reliable connectivity in challenging North Atlantic conditions, given that they can be away from home for up to 35 days at a time.”
As part of the deal, Inmarsat will provide its fully managed Fleet Care programme for Fleet Xpress to maximise equipment uptime and minimise expenses on unplanned maintenance. A lifetime warranty will be provided for rented equipment, secure spare parts for 36 months on purchased hardware and free support will be available from certified technicians in over 50 ports worldwide.
Fleet Care also includes remote equipment health checks and enables customers to update new hardware without additional cost.
Inmarsat Maritime vice president for offshore and fishing Eric Griffin expects Fleet Xpress to be employed on more fishing vessels along Canada’s east coast.
“In a sector quickly realising the benefits of always-on connectivity, we expect others will be keen to learn how greater reliability and enhanced crew communications can be secured at truly competitive pricing,” said Mr Griffin.
Clearwater Seafood is active off the coasts of Canada, the UK and Argentina. It operates 21 vessels in total.
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