Inmarsat has integrated its Fleet Xpress network service device (SoftNSD) software across the fleets to offer improved broadband connectivity, to be covered by global communications and network service provider SpeedCast International.

SoftNSD software elements have been integrated into SpeedCast’s Fleet Xpress offering, which is designed to provide high speed data, as well as continuous connectivity and performance for maritime communications worldwide.

Inmarsat entered a strategic partnership to introduce its Fleet Xpress services via SpeedCast to around 2,000 vessels for a five-year period last year.

The integration of the software element of SoftNSD has enabled third-party application providers to develop and publish new, content-rich applications over Fleet Xpress, ensuring improved operational efficiency, safety and compliance, as well as IT security and crew welfare.

The applications include real-time analysis of data such as engine monitoring, weather information and fuel consumption rates.

"Inmarsat, together with its partners, are powering a new world of value added applications to drive efficiencies, support crew welfare and enhance safety and compliance."

Integration of the software will also allow SpeedCast to build value-added solutions and applications over Sigma Gateway, an industrial-grade network management device designed for ships and remote sites.

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Inmarsat maritime president Ronald Spithout said: “Fully integrating the software element of the Network Service Device into SIGMA Gateway will remove hardware from the below deck rack, and allow SpeedCast to develop their own value added solutions for the maritime community within the infrastructure of Fleet Xpress.

 “With the SoftNSD now commercially available we are entering a new era of the connected ship and Inmarsat, together with its partners, are powering a new world of value added applications to drive efficiencies, support crew welfare and enhance safety and compliance.”

The latest integration has also made SpeedCast the first customer to use the SoftNSD software in Fleet Xpress.