Inmarsat Unveils Fleet F77 at Europort 2001

Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Inmarsat Ltd, the global mobile satellite communications provider unveiled the first product in its Inmarsat Fleet portfolio, Fleet F77 at Europort 2001. The first in the family of three, Fleet F77 offers a unique new Mobile ISDN and Mobile Packet Data service for the maritime community delivering voice, fax and data services at speeds of up to 64 kbit/s. Fleet F77 is the only satcom service to meet the International Maritime Organization's latest criteria for new services within the global maritime distress and safety system (GMDSS) safety standard.

With Fleet F77, maritime users will have the flexibility to choose the most cost-efficient two-way communications service for their varying data requirements. The mobile packet data service is a unique maritime solution, charging users only for the data they send and receive, not the time they are connected. This will enable mariners to send and receive information on a real-time basis, rather than the traditional practice of logging on once or twice daily.

For the first time, ships can become an always-connected 'node' or connection in the LAN or WAN network. Inmarsat Mobile ISDN connects with existing applications using standard ISDN interfaces; it is ideal for data intensive applications such as oceanographic chart updates and batch e-mail. "This is Inmarsat's most significant new communications launch to the maritime community for some time," said Michael Butler, managing director of Inmarsat Limited. "It reaffirms our commitment to the maritime community and in a sense 'future proofs' our services to take advantage of the new high bandwidth Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) services being launched by Inmarsat during 2004 over our new Inmarsat-4 satellites. We are constantly striving to ensure that our innovative communications solutions cater for the developing commercial needs of land-based and maritime customers alike."

Inmarsat Fleet F77 capitalizes on the established Mobile Packet Data technology with further advances developed for the maritime environment. Utilizing a stabilized antenna, the terminal is being developed first by Nera (Norway), and Thrane & Thrane (Denmark), with additional terminals being developed by JRC (Japan), Glocom (USA), and STN Atlas (Germany), in the coming months. Inmarsat Fleet F77 will be rolled out via Inmarsat's global network of partners with Telenor Broadband Services AS in Norway, Comsat Mobile Communications in the US, Xantic in Holland and Australia, KDD in Japan, OteSat in Greece, France Telecom and Telecom Italia launching the service to end users in Q2 2002. Other partners such as Stratos, UK and Canada; MCN, China and SingTel, Singapore, are also planning to launch the service sometime during 2002.

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