LONDON, December 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Inmarsat , the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, announced today that it has activated the 5,000th FleetBroadband terminal. This figure represents commercially active SIM cards passing operational traffic.
FleetBroadband, launched in November 2007, continues to take the maritime industry by storm. The 5,000 FleetBroadband terminals activated through Inmarsat's global partner network make it the fastest adopted maritime service in the company's 30-year history. The latest member of the FleetBroadband family, FB150, launched just 22 weeks ago, already has 500 terminals activated - a rate of adoption which is twice that of FB500 and FB250 at a similar period after launch.
Piers Cunningham, Maritime Business Director said: The continued strong growth for FleetBroadband shows that it has become the de facto standard for modern maritime communications. FB150 in particular is beating our expectations, and no doubt those of our competitors too. FleetBroadband is the only service that is cost effective, reliable, has a global reach and is optimised to deliver genuine broadband connectivity.
The 5,000th terminal was activated on Happy Rover, a 1997-build owned by Dutch company BigLift Shipping B.V., a member of the Spliethoff Group. Established in 1921, the Spliethoff Group manages a fleet of 70 multipurpose vessels ranging in size from 2,500 to 21,000 tonnes. It is the leading operator in the world market of wide heavy lifting and has a fleet of 13 purpose-built heavy lift vessels provide lifting capacities of up to 1,400 tons plus ro-ro capabilities for loads up to 2,500 tonnes.
Happy Rover was fitted with an FB500 by Stratos. Stratos has managed Spliethoff's communication for over 30 years, from the early days of telex through to FleetBroadband; and now works closely with Peter Van de Venne, IT Director at Spliethoff, to utilize new features like remote IT management, and to improve the information flow between ship and shore while maintaining control over the costs.
According to Peter Van de Venne, Happy Rover is the latest of nine vessels to adopt FleetBroadband, with new vessels to follow. With 70 vessels routed around the world, the global coverage and new features delivered by FleetBroadband were a key factor in its selection. Peter Van de Venne said: We are particularly pleased with the remote maintenance feature. We have refined our software programmes so we are now able to routinely check on progress online rather than talking on the phone, which is not only costly but can often lead to misinterpretation or misunderstanding. This way we check with the Captain and then connect at a time that works for us here in Amsterdam to take over the PC. Effectively, we can 'mouse move' across the oceans, day or night, which is not only cost effective but operationally more efficient.
With the upgrade to FleetBroadband, the 20-strong crew onboard Happy Rover will benefit from global connectivity as they sail around the world delivering cargo, from wire coils to barley grain. Both the officers and the operations managers will benefit from the broadband speeds of up to 432kbps offered by FleetBroadband, as well as its simultaneous voice and data capability.
In the not-too-distant future Peter Van de Venne believes that the Spliethoff Group will evaluate the benefits of slow-scan video as a solution to such problems as engine malfunction, cargo damage and medical emergencies.
Stratos Maritime Market Manager, Michiel Meijer said: The world's leading shipping companies continue to select Stratos as their FleetBroadband provider primarily due to our attractive suite of value added services. These field-tested services, known as The Stratos Advantage, help ship managers attain the highest possible performance and support from FleetBroadband at the lowest possible cost.
Meijer added that The Stratos Advantage services provide users with cost and traffic control, high-usage metering, firewall management, data optimization, real-time traffic overviews, instant remote provisioning, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and a full IP range.
Stratos has accounted for more than half of all FleetBroadband activations worldwide. For its creative marketing approach, innovative pricing programs and sales success, Stratos was recognized in November as the Inmarsat Distribution Partner making the greatest contribution to FleetBroadband growth in 2009.
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. The company's services are delivered through a global network of around 400 distributors operating in over 100 countries. For the year ended 31 December 2008, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$ 996.7 million (2007: $576.5 million) with an EBITDA of US$531.2 million (2007: $388.1 million). For more information, please visit http://www.inmarsat.com.
Stratos is the world's trusted leader for vital communications. Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world's oceans. For more information visit http://www.stratosglobal.com.
SOURCE: Inmarsat plc
CONTACT: For further information, please contact: John Warehand, PRManager, Inmarsat, Tel: +44-20-7728-1579, Mob: +44-7739-778-128, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org