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September 24, 2002

Inmarsat offers new services
Inmarsat Ltd. today used the SMM event in Hamburg, Germany, as the opportunity to unveil the two newest members of its Fleet family of services, Fleet F55 and Fleet F33. Designed to provide flexible data services for small to medium-sized vessels, Fleet F55 and Fleet F33 follow on from the successful commercial launch of Inmarsat Fleet F77 in April this year.

Together, Fleet F77, F55 and F33 provide high-quality mobile voice and flexible data communication services for the entire marine industry. Fleet F55 and F33 allow smaller vessels to benefit from voice, email, secure Internet and Intranet access, plus a high quality fax service, allowing crews to operate a "mobile office" at sea.

"The launch of this new service brings improved data capabilities to smaller vessels – many of which have never had access to the data they require," said Robert Johnson, Inmarsat's director, maritime business at Inmarsat. "Yachts and smaller vessels will also be able to benefit from antennas of a more manageable size. For the first time this enables them to access the type of advanced, reliable and cost effective communications facilities only previously available on larger ships."

Fleet F55's data services will utilize the spotbeams on Inmarsat's satellites, providing up to 64kbit/s Mobile ISDN or Mobile Packet Data in those areas of the world covered. F55 voice services use the global beam to provide global coverage.

Fleet F55 is due to be launched in early 2003 and a Fleet F55 antenna sub system from EMS is being displayed at the SMM Exhibition.

The data rates available through Fleet F33 mean that a new, wider range of applications is available to the smaller vessel market. Maritime-specific information, such as sea and weather charts, can be made available online and updated in real time. Users can also enjoy the benefit of reliable, easy access to email whenever and wherever is needed.

Fleet F33 is due for launch in early 2003. Nera Satcom is the first manufacturer to unveil its Fleet F33 terminal hardware, which is being displayed at the SMM exhibition.

"By launching Inmarsat F33 we are responding directly to a market sector for increased data requirements, but which may be exceeded by the Inmarsat F77's comprehensive service offering," said Ottar Bjaastad, Nera Maritime Business Manager. "Fleet F33 will give users in coastal waters value-added benefits though higher data capacity and high quality voice."

The benefits of Fleet F55 include:

  • Clear, digital voice available virtually globally in all four Inmarsat Ocean Regions.

  • Two distinct services available in Inmarsat spot beam areas:

    • 64kbit/s ISDN service providing high quality voice group four fax, or high-speed voice band data service.

    • Mobile Packet Data service, an "always on" IP service. This service is charged per volume of data rather than time (ISDN service). This is very attractive for smaller volumes of data or interactive data sessions.

  • Relatively small lightweight antenna offering easy installation for smaller vessels.

The benefits of Fleet F33 include:

  • Clear, digital voice available virtually globally in all four of the Inmarsat Ocean Regions.

  • Two distinct data services available in Inmarsat spot beam areas depending on terminal version:

    • Enhanced 9.6kbit/s data offering high performance throughput, and/or

    • The Inmarsat Mobile Packet Data is anticipated, offering "always connected" capability and access to data charged on the basis of usage not time.

  • Small, lightweight antenna (similar to mini-M), offering increased ease of supply and installation.

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