Clearwater Seafood, Canada’s largest vessel-operating seafood company, has reached an agreement with mobile satcom leader Inmarsat that will see it install the Fleet Xpress combination of high speed Ka-band and continuous FleetBroadband backup on board seven vessels replacing Ku-band services on each vessel.
Deployed off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, each vessel is being fitted with Inmarsat-approved, high-performance GX100NX antennas from Intellian.
“Robust connectivity for the crew is imperative for Clearwater,” says Brad MacKinnon, director, Canadian Fleet Operations, Clearwater Seafood. “We have over 400 personnel at sea who expect stable and reliable connectivity in challenging North Atlantic conditions, given that they can be away from home for up to 35 days at a time.”
The contract also includes Inmarsat’s fully managed Fleet Care program for Fleet Xpress, developed to maximise equipment uptime and minimize out of pocket expenses on unplanned maintenance.
Based on a fixed monthly cost, customers secure all spare parts for 36 months on purchased hardware and benefit from a lifetime warranty for rented equipment, with free of charge support from certified technicians in over 50 ports worldwide. Fleet Care also includes remote equipment health checks and allows customers to update without additional cost as new hardware develops.
“This contract represents outstanding recognition of the Fleet Xpress platform which will make waves among fishing customers along Canada’s east coast and elsewhere,” says Eric Griffin, Vice President Offshore & Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime. “Regional and global market leaders establish their positions for good reason and, in a sector quickly realising the benefits of always-on connectivity, we expect that others will be keen to learn how greater reliability and enhanced crew communications can be secured at truly competitive pricing.”
Fleet Xpress recently marked its 10,000th vessel installation. While the majority are merchant vessels, the maritime broadband platform continues to make inroads among owners and operators in the offshore and fishing markets.
The fact that this regional breakthrough came when COVID-19 restrictions have been in place also shows what is possible by adapting our processes as required, to deploy our technicians in the field, work with engineers remotely or—where possible—carry out installations virtually,” says Griffin.