Inmarsat Launching New Fleet One Marine Service

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
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Inmarsat will be launching a new maritime satellite service this summer aimed at the pleasure and fishing markets. Unlike the Oceana, Aurora, Iridium GO and various docking stations for handheld satellite phones with low speed data service trying to get the most out of compression and acceleration software, the new Fleet One service will offer broadband connectivity at 100 kbps. Voice calls through the new terminals will be significantly less than the $1.00 per minute many of us are used to paying for satellite calls. The first two terminals for Fleet One will be similar in size to the FBB 150 terminals from Cobham and Add Value, with adjustments made for the lower level of service. It is expected that the first Fleet One terminals will be priced in the $3,500 to $4,500 range. If the service takes off in popularity, we could see completely new terminals in a year or so.

We are still waiting for the final rules and airtime rates, but we do know that the service will be geo-fenced with Fleet One service offered only within 250 miles of the coast lines. The terminal will still operate outside the Fleet One boundary limits, but the cost of data services will be much higher. For coastal fishermen and yachting enthusiasts planning a trip through the Caribbean, the Fleet One terminal and service may be your best value. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more. We expect to see the first terminals in early May. - SPS

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