Tidewater in fleet-wide roll-out of Inmarsat Fleet Xpress

Written by Nick Blenkey
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In January, Tidewater, Inc. will have 56 active vessels with Fleet Xpress installed, providing new capabilities for operations, crews and customers.

An agreement with mobile satellite communications leader Inmarsat has seen offshore services major Tidewater Inc. advance its digitalization strategy by upgrading the majority of its active fleet to the Fleet Xpress mobile broadband solution.

Tidewater was one of the largest users of Inmarsat’s legacy iFusion service, which was scheduled for network shutdown on December 31, 2020.

Tidewater and Inmarsat created a joint project team and comprehensive plan to fast track Fleet Xpress vessel installations and upgrades to deliver the project in six months, covering 60 active vessels, across 15 countries and involving a team of 75 from the combined organizations.

Despite the complexity of the project, all 60 vessels were successfully transitioned before year-end and experienced no disruptions during the iFusion shutdown events.

Fleet Xpress will provide new capabilities for Tidewater’s vessels, crews and customers.

“This transformational project advanced Tidewater to a new level of vessel communications with Fleet Xpress’s combination of high-speed Ka-band and continuous back-up using L-band creating an always-on bandwidth for our vessels,” says Cherise Brooks, Tidewater’s IT program manager for the project. “Tidewater has deployed this new technology to provide internet demands for crews and customers, a capability previously not available for these vessels. The project success of achieving an aggressive six month schedule and significantly upgrading our fleet with advanced technology was only made possible by the exceptional efforts of the Tidewater shore based teams, Tidewater crew members, Inmarsat and their partners.”

“Tidewater will be the first beneficiary of new investments Inmarsat has made in reporting capabilities and a new addition to Inmarsat’s product portfolio,” says Inmarsat’s Sales Director for Offshore and Fishing, Chuck Moseley. “Once again, a big-name brand in the offshore space has confirmed the compelling case Fleet Xpress presents as the platform for flexible digital solutions that meet operator needs on vessel efficiency, crew welfare and client demands. The combined Tidewater and Inmarsat project teams delivered amazing results and commissioned a significant ramp-up of Fleet Xpress installations in record times. Inmarsat is looking forward to continuing the partnership and delivering the 2021 product roadmap to further advance the Tidewater fleet.”

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