The worldÂ¹s smallest, lightest, fastest, global maritime service, optimized for small vessels
11th May 2009, Miami, USA: Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announced the launch of its new FleetBroadband 150 service. Developed for the leisure, fishing, coastal merchant and small defense vessel markets, FleetBroadband 150 (FB150) is the worldÂ¹s smallest, lightest, fastest global maritime service.
For the leisure market, FB150 offers a simple and cost-effective way to stay connected by phone, SMS or email when sailing. It offers a voice connection at landline quality, accessible simultaneously with Internet-capable IP data at 150kbps and simple-to-use SMS. Above-deck equipment measures around 20cm in diameter and weighs only 4.5-9lbs, ensuring a quick and easy installation. FB150 connects to a standard PC and supports off-the-shelf applications.
Â³The emphasis is on compactness, outstanding performance and simplicity,Â² said Piers Cunningham, Maritime Business Director, Inmarsat. Â³Our long-term development plan for FleetBroadband was to take all the benefits of our proven network and construct a low-cost package targeting small maritime vessels and boats. For the first time, FB150 brings large vessel connectivity to smaller boatsÂ².
Inmarsat has optimized the new entry-level service to address the needs of smaller vessels with lower data requirements. FB150 provides owners and operators of leisure craft with the assurance of a reliable connection, no matter what their position. As an IP-based service, FB150 works with the same standard home/office software that most leisure users will know. Â³FB150 opens up a new world for leisure vessel owners,Â² said Cunningham. Â³When at sea, users can now access the same email, Internet browsing or online services that theyÂ¹re familiar with. For the weekend mariner, being far from shore no longer means being isolatedÂ².
For smaller fishing vessels, operating in a competitive market, FB150 enable access to the same online weather updates and fishing resources as their larger competition. Â³FleetBroadband has already demonstrated its value in the fisheries sector, and with FB150 we can now bring these same benefits to smaller fishing boats,Â² said Cunningham. Â³We have designed FB150 to pack the most functionality into the smallest possible above-deck unit, and at a cost that addresses the price sensitivity of the fishing marketÂ².
Â³We promised to deliver a sub-$5000 terminal for small vessels, and we have delivered on time and on specification. FB150 is everything we promised,Â² he said.
Â³FB150 will become the Mini-M of the 21st Century, but more powerful and available globally,Â² said Cunningham. Â³We introduced Mini-M in the mid-1990s to deliver very high quality voice to a range of vessels, from large merchant ships to fishing vessels and weekend leisure craft. It has been used by hundreds of thousands of seafarers, and is still actively used on many thousands of vessels. Mini-M was small on equipment size and cost, two major factors in its success, and we see FB150 as a natural successor that builds on that with a powerful global serviceÂ².
FB150 hardware is manufactured by AddValue and Thrane & Thrane. The service will be available through InmarsatÂ¹s network of distribution partners and service providers.
FleetBroadband has established a new standard for maritime communications. It is InmarsatÂ¹s fastest-growing maritime service in its 30-year history, and the company recently announced the 2,000th activated terminal. Two FleetBroadband services FB500, currently delivering high-definition TV connectivity and other essential communications for crews in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-9, and its sister service, FB250 were launched in November 2007.
Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT) 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 more than 500 distribution partners and service providers operating in 180 countries. For the year ended 31st December 2008, Inmarsat plc had total revenue of US$996.7 million (2007: US$576.5 million) with an EBITDA of US$531.2 million (2007: US$388.1 million). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
Jennifer Fugel GK Communications O: 845-657-4202 M: 845-300-0633 firstname.lastname@example.org