Inmarsat Unveils Connected Ships Solution


Inmarsat, a leader in the field of satellite communications, has announced the launch of Crew Xpress, a service that will enable the company to stay ahead of “fast-changing dynamics in ship connectivity”.

The new package from Inmarsat includes a managed Wi-Fi solution, a leased antenna, automated billing, and a usage revenue recovery scheme that is expected to help ship managers invest in crew connectivity.

Accessing the internet with a unique login, users of Fleet Hotspot Wi-Fi can secure time or data with allocated vouchers or by making online payments.

Dr. Agustina Calatayud discusses the connected supply chain in a recent Port Technology technical paper

According to a statement, several Asian shipping companies have been trialling the Crew Xpress service on board their vessels since January 2019, with the full commercial launch of the product currently scheduled for April.

Developed from a portal first created for pilots and cabin crew in the aviation sector, Inmarsat recognizes that ship crews require greater variety in payment methods and is concluding arrangements with a range of electronic payment services.



Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime, said: “We have seen migration by a significant part of our customer base to our full high-speed Fleet Xpress service, but we also recognise crew wellbeing as a separate connectivity imperative.

“There is a group of owners and managers who seek fully-managed Wi-Fi connectivity that crew can use on a self-service basis, but whose business data needs do not yet extend to the sensor-driven equipment maintenance or IoT-based route planning enabled by Ka-band.

“Crew Xpress allows those managers to start offering a managed, high-speed crew internet solution, while staying on an allowance plan, with the ability to migrate at any time to the full Fleet Xpress package.”

Spithout also asserted that seafarers must not be “short-changed” in terms of the coverage, stability and reliability of their mobile connection.

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