UK-based satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat has introduced a new series of Fleet Xpress plans, which have been specifically designed to fulfil the various technical and commercial requirements of offshore support vessels (OSVs).

The new plans aim to offer vessel operators additional flexibility with regards to their offshore support requirements.

OSV units typically consume more bandwidth than conventional vessels during project work as they generate significant volumes of data, which is subsequently transmitted on-shore for analysis.

The Fleet Xpress for OSVs features a 1m standard antenna and offers committed information rates of up to 3 megabits per second (Mbps) for uploads, as well as 6Mbps for downloads.

“Fleet Xpress is designed for seamless global mobility and automated satellite and beam switching, supported by the added resilience of unlimited FleetBroadband back-up.”

Operators are able to increase the information rates to 5Mbps and 10Mbps respectively by installing an enhanced antenna.

The OSV may need an economic 128kbps / 128KBps link to allow the exchange of core operational data during off-hire activities.

Inmarsat will allow vessel owners to upgrade and downgrade service levels for free during a 36-month contract period in order to address their shifting connectivity requirements.

The offer will also allow vessel operators to suspend services for up to 180 days if the contract is extended for an equivalent period.

Inmarsat Offshore Energy and Fisheries Maritime vice-president Eric Griffin said: “The global footprint of Fleet Xpress means OSVs can count on reliable connectivity wherever in the world they are deployed.

“Unlike conventional VSAT installations, Fleet Xpress is designed for seamless global mobility and automated satellite and beam switching, supported by the added resilience of unlimited FleetBroadband back-up.

“Inmarsat satellites are supported by redundant land-based infrastructure to ensure network availability, as defined in the service level agreements that form part of a subscription.”

Furthermore, the new OSV plans can be used in conjunction with new hardware from existing terminal manufacturers that offer a dual-antenna solution.