Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) announces that German shipping company Reederei Werner Bockstiegel has selected Iridium Pilot(TM) to upgrade its shipping fleet with broadband communications.
Globecomm Maritime, a long-standing Iridium partner, is offering Iridium Pilot as part of an upgraded "Telaurus se@COMM" communications package, and will manage the installation fleet-wide.
"We're seeing a rapidly growing appetite among maritime customers to migrate from out-dated narrowband services to satellite broadband communications solutions," said Greg Ewert, executive vice president of global distribution channels at Iridium. "We are proud to expand our service to Reederei Werner Bockstiegel through our innovative partner Globecomm Maritime. Iridium Pilot continues to receive positive market reception because it provides the best value of any maritime broadband solution. It provides the only global service area in the market, enabling ship operators and sailors alike to stay connected wherever they may sail and at an affordable price."
Werner Bockstiegel will install the Iridium Pilot platform across its entire fleet of 65 ships. The vessels will receive one dedicated voice line for the captain and two independent crew phone lines. Globecomm's Telaurus se@COMM Wi-Fi service will provide access points to enable crew to use their own laptops and smartphones to stay connected onboard.
"It was vital for us to combine affordable equipment with competitive airtime to give flexibility to our vessels," said Albert Bokelmann, Fleet Manager of Reederei Werner Bockstiegel. "The comprehensive voice and e-mail service enables us to significantly reduce our overall communications costs and provide crew calling services that positively impact welfare and morale while at sea. BBC Chartering in Leer, our charterer company, has reported that having se@COMM installed will improve their daily operations significantly by enabling their emails to be delivered to the vessel in real time. As a long-time Iridium customer, we appreciate the power of the world's furthest-reaching network, and trust in its reliability to keep our business on course and our crews safe, even in remote areas or small ports."
Se@COMM managed communication software, known for advance price notifications and push delivery of email, now includes Wi-Fi access points for prepaid crew email and SMS via a crew member's own notebook or PDA device. Globecomm Maritime, through its local sales agent Nordic-IT Marine Communications, will provide the Iridium Pilot terminals and service plans for the Bockstiegel ships.
"The Globecomm crew Wi-Fi solution has been shown to be attractive for ship owners who desire to demonstrate their commitment to crew welfare and who also want a solution which keeps their business systems separate and secure," said Heiko Hoefer, Nordic IT Marine. "When combined with Iridium Pilot and Globecomm Maritime's tailor-made monthly packages, it can be a perfect fit for ship owners with a diverse fleet trading worldwide."
Iridium Pilot, powered by the Iridium OpenPort(R) service, is engineered for enhanced durability to withstand the harshest maritime conditions, all the while packaged in a small, lightweight antenna. It has a fixed, electronically-steerable, phased-array antenna, designed to maintain connectivity in rough seas. Iridium Pilot offers broadband connectivity in addition to three independent phone lines, which work simultaneously, with data speeds up to 134 kbps. The platform offers a suite of capabilities for vessel telecommunications optimization, which include a built-in firewall for traffic management and a bulk configuration capability to assist in efficiently managing large volumes of units. Its small form factor, enhanced capabilities and flexible service packages make Iridium Pilot an optimal solution for vessels large and small. Iridium Pilot maintains the best service program in the industry, the Iridium Global Service Program, and the industry's only standard five-year limited warranty.
Iridium Pilot will also be compatible with Iridium's next generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, which is scheduled for deployment starting in 2015. Iridium NEXT is the most comprehensive commercial space program underway today. Ship operators installing Iridium Pilot can have the confidence that Iridium will support their equipment well beyond 2020.