Maritime customers want a satellite service that is cost effective, reliable, available when they need it and helps make their business more operationally efficient – and they do not care if it uses Ka, Ku, C or L-band.
That was the message delivered by Shane Rossbacher, Director of Maritime Market Development at Inmarsat, to industry leaders attending Ship Efficiency – The Event, a conference staged as part of London International Shipping Week.
“Global Xpress will clearly bring value to the ship owner through high bandwidth and global coverage, via a robust and reliable service backed up by FleetBroadband at no additional cost,” he said.
“But equally as important, Global Xpress also promises to deliver some new capabilities that could change how satellite communications are used in shipping.”
Through its partnership with Cisco and iDirect, Inmarsat will deliver a 'state-of-the-art' satellite applications Service Enablement Platform (SEP) for GX, which will introduce unique bandwidth management capabilities.
“Global Xpress will offer the fastest, most reliable broadband service with the best coverage a ship will have ever had – but customers don't just want technology,” Shane explained.
“They want the better connection to access better services. So we're working with a wide variety of application developers who will launch services on the Global Xpress platform.”
Ship owners have resisted adopting data-heavy services such as telemedicine and shipboard video surveillance because they need to upgrade their monthly satellite subscription just to have this extra capacity on stand-by in case there is an incident.
With the GX SEP platform, the application itself can dynamically request additional bandwidth just for the period of time it is needed. Once completed, bandwidth is returned to normal levels.
So, for example, if a crew member falls ill, a telemedicine application can request additional bandwidth in real time, allowing doctors on shore to consult with the patient and ship medical personnel via video link. The charges for this airtime are billed to the telemedicine provider and included in the service cost.
Shane concluded his presentation by saying: “Our task is to deliver solutions that help improve our customers' business – driving operational efficiencies between shore and ship.
“Inmarsat's future strategy is to offer services beyond pure satellite connectivity.”
Global Xpress: www.igx.com