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Inmarsat signs maritime contract with Solstad Offshore

Solstad Offshore has switched to the Inmarsat Fleet LTE to connect seamlessly using three networks.
Photo credit: Inmarsat

The Norwegian offshore vessel owner Solstad Offshore has signed a deal with Inmarsat for its new Fleet LTE service, which will cover the connectivity needs of multiple Solstad Offshore vessels in the North Sea.

Inmarsat Fleet LTE delivers hybrid connectivity via 4G cellular connectivity provided by Tampnet plus satellite coverage on Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress Ka-band and FleetBroadband L-band services, switching between networks on a fully automated basis.

Commenting on the contract, Christian Nesheim, ICT Director, Solstad Offshore ASA, said: “The Fleet LTE combination of bandwidth, reasonable pricing and guaranteed connectivity makes sense in today’s offshore market, which is simultaneously cost-driven and hungry to exploit the opportunities created by digitalisation and real-time data analytics.”

Algorithms within the Fleet LTE router switch seamlessly between LTE and VSAT so that service integrity, high-speed data transfer and low latency are always optimised. The three-in-one service provides a one-stop-shop for 4G, Ka-band and L-band without the complication of dual billing or the risk of disconnection. 

Following successful trials onboard three Solstad vessels over the first three months of 2021, Fleet LTE will be commissioned on the remaining relevant vessels. With a fleet of around 100 vessels, Solstad Offshore is one of the largest offshore support vessel owners in the world.

Eric Griffin, VP of Offshore and Fishing, Inmarsat Maritime, added: “Inmarsat has supported Solstad Offshore’s requirement for connectivity over many years, which makes its commitment to our new Fleet LTE service package especially welcome. We look forward to working with Solstad as it takes advantage of affordable high-speed bandwidth and low latency to support its unfolding digital strategy for offshore operations within the North Sea.”

Following the launch of its Fleet LTE Offshore service for North Sea customers last year, Inmarsat unveiled plans to develop an equivalent bundled offering to offshore vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, after extending its agreement with subsea fibre and offshore LTE network operator, Tampnet.