Global mobile satellite communications firm Inmarsat has entered into an agreement with Ericsson that will see the two companies jointly develop services, solutions and applications for the maritime industry.
The strategic agreement intends to facilitate the sharing of cargo, logistics and vessel operational data to help streamline the maritime supply chain, the companies explain in a joint statement.
Together, Inmarsat and Ericsson will drive industry standards for satellite connectivity and application integration.
As a first step, Ericsson has signed a distribution contract to offer XpressLink, Inmarsat’s combined L-band and Ku-band VSAT network for the maritime market. XpressLink offers an easy upgrade path to Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress service, powered by the new Global Xpress constellation, when it becomes available in the coming months, Ericsson explains. It is intended that the distribution agreement with Ericsson will be extended to Fleet Xpress at that time.
The company says the new strategic relationship will also pave the way for integration between Ericsson’s Maritime ICT Cloud and global connectivity delivered over Inmarsat’s satellite communications network, including both Ka and L-band.
Ericsson’s Maritime ICT Cloud is an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centres, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities.
“With Fleet Xpress, the world’s first mobile hybrid Ka/L-band high-speed broadband service, embedded in and enabling world-class solutions from Ericsson, we are re-defining maritime connectivity,” says Ronald Spithout, Inmarsat Maritime president.
“This transformational agreement will open up opportunities for vessel operators and managers to capture intelligent data immediately,” he says.
“Everyone is talking about ‘big data’, but eventually it is the deployment of applications onboard and the end-to-end management of integrated intelligence, that will ultimately change the way the maritime industry operates; making it more efficient, greener and unlocking greater value,” Spithout continues. “We are happy that the reliability of the Inmarsat constellation of satellites and operational standards are recognised as the best fit in the Ericsson roadmap of integrated services.”
John Taxgaard, head of maritime at Ericsson, adds, “Ericsson believes that the Internet of Things has the potential to generate tremendous value for the maritime industry.
“Partnering with the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services is the best means of helping the maritime industry to realise this value,” he explains.
“Together with Inmarsat we will jointly develop fully integrated services, solutions and applications, and work toward establishing maritime industry standards for satellite connectivity and application integration,” Taxgaard says.