Inmarsat has received the first major commitment to its brand new Americas Leisure Plan for Fleet One, devised especially for sailing and motorboat users cruising in waters around North and South America.
The order for 150 Fleet One terminals from Network Innovations follows hard on the heels of the 1 March launch of the flexible ‘unlimited Fleet One Americas Leisure Plan’ for yacht and boat users from Alaskan waters, along both US coasts, through the Caribbean and Mexico, and on to the South Pacific and South Atlantic.
Alongside their primary boat systems, leisure users now expect to be able to update complex chart plotting, navigation systems and weather forecasts in real time, with apps accessed through tablets that make leisure cruising safer, as well as more fun.
“Leisure and sports boating customers are integral to the mobility revolution happening in the marine world, and this new plan brings them predictable pricing and uniform performance anywhere at sea,” says Martin Buhl, VP of Business Development for Inmarsat Maritime. “Even on land there can be lack of consistency in cellular coverage but for the ocean-going leisure user performance is frustratingly uneven and the signal weakens as distance from land increases, until complete drop-out 5-10 km from shore.
“We are delighted that Network Innovations has made this strategic commitment to deliver Fleet One’s superior voice, messaging and safety services to leisure customers, as well as the Wi-Fi connectivity for the tablets, smartphones and mobile apps they now see as toolkit essentials.”
Using the resilient L-band, Fleet One provides reliable connectivity to lower data usage customers outside VHF or GSM coverage areas, offering simultaneous voice and IP data at up to 100 kbps to vessels, proven to achieve 99.9% availability globally. Its uninterrupted connectivity means users can always check in on the news or with loved ones or engage with social and other media.
Fleet One delivers connectivity as reliable anywhere at sea as it is on land, taking advantage of Inmarsat’s advanced global broadband satellite network proven by commercial shipping, using easy to install, compact terminals weighing just 5.5lb (2.5kg) which have been developed for leisure and fishing vessels.
Network Innovations will manage its commitment to Fleet One users along the East and West North American coasts with localised teams based in South Florida and the Pacific Northwest.
“The maritime markets along the US and Canadian coasts have diverse connectivity needs efficient for coastal/regional vessels to longer-term, open-sea cruisers. Fleet One terminals and Inmarsat’s Leisure Plan offers flexible pricing with reliable service delivering connectivity and convenience at sea comparable to services they enjoy on land”, says Matt George, VP Maritime Sales, Network Innovations. “In addition, the new plans for the Fleet One terminals will become an important option for our teams as they work one-on-one with captains and operators throughout the Americas.”
Fleet One also provides access to free voice distress (505) call services connecting leisure users directly to a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre for Search and Rescue (SAR). “For the first time, leisure users can tap into the same SAR communications channels that provide the lifeline for commercial seafarers and for the professional sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Martin Buhl.