Launched in Miami, Florida, on 11 May, the new service makes mobile broadband communications even more accessible by delivering voice and IP data, plus SMS, at speeds of up to 150kbps as standard.
The service is designed to support a new range of FB150 terminals aimed at smaller vessels with relatively low data requirements.
For leisure craft, the FB150 terminal is ideal for checking weather reports, sending emails and for keeping in touch with the office or home.
Inmarsat's head of maritime business, Piers Cunningham, said: “The emphasis is on compactness, outstanding performance and simplicity. FB150 opens up a new world for leisure vessel owners.
“When at sea, users can now access the same email, internet browsing or online services they are familiar with. For the weekend mariner, being far from shore no longer means being isolated.”
FleetBroadband has already demonstrated its value in the fisheries sector and now FB150 terminals bring the same benefits to smaller fishing vessels.
“We 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 market,” said Piers, who described the service as the natural successor to Mini M – but more powerful and available globally.
Piers points out that since Inmarsat Mini M was introduced in the mid-1990s, it has been used by hundreds of thousands of seafarers – and is still actively used on thousands of vessels.
FB150 terminals from Thrane & Thrane and Addvalue are expected to be available from mid June.