17 August 2017: Inmarsat’s role in enabling a global digital society is illustrated by the take-up of maritime service Fleet One, specifically designed to bring satellite communications into the reach of smaller vessels.
Until recently, connectivity at sea was affordable only to large commercial tonnage plying transoceanic routes. In the fishing industry, it was mostly confined to fleets of deep sea trawlers catching and processing tons of fish every day. By allowing these boats to readily obtain the latest meteorological data and better manage their activities, electronic communication soon became an essential tool in day-to-day operation.
With Fleet One, which delivers simultaneous voice and IP data at up to 100 kbps, these benefits are now available to vessels under 500gt when they move outside MF/HF radio and GSM coverage.
Like FleetBroadband, the service is delivered using the Inmarsat I-4 satellites over the world’s most reliable commercial L-band satellite network, maintaining over 99.9% availability.
Two airtime pricing plans – Fleet One Coastal and Fleet One Global, launched last year – offer flexibility as well as affordability to seasonal and occasional users, such as small fishing and leisure vessels.
The benefits of Fleet One are explored in a new case study featuring Manuel Laranga Sanles, owner of a 92 ft (28 metre) trawler fishing off the coast of Galicia in north west Spain. Inmarsat partner Satlink S.L. provided the satellite system which he uses to meet European Union catch reporting regulations, access weather forecast and routeing maps to make the most of every trip, and negotiate a price before he returns to port with his catch. The service also allows his five-man crew to stay in touch with family.
“For me, Fleet One is the perfect match between terminal and airtime cost and the quality and services available,” Manuel says.