Inmarsat, the pioneer in global, mobile satellite communications, announces that Ben Palmer OBE will be joining the company as President of its Maritime Business Unit on 8 November 2021. Most recently head of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems division across Europe, Ben brings 25 years’ experience of driving transformational change in technology-heavy industries, including maritime, with a strong customer-centric focus and a track record of delivering results. Maritime satellite connectivity “Inmarsat is a company with growing momentum and I am delighted to welcome Ben Palmer to our executive team and as president of our maritime business at this pivotal time”, said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat. “Supported by our market-leading technology platforms, including the recently announced ORCHESTRA and ELERA networks, Inmarsat is driving a step-change in growth." Inmarsat has been a pioneer in maritime satellite connectivity for over four decades "Customer-centricity is central to everything we do and Ben is the ideal leader to support our maritime partners and customers as they navigate a rapidly changing world and embrace the benefits of digitalisation.” Inmarsat has been a pioneer in maritime satellite connectivity for over four decades, delivering the most flexible and reliable communication services for ship operations and crew welfare. Digital connectivity platform Since the introduction of Fleet Xpress (FX) in 2016, it has become the pioneer digital connectivity platform and is now installed on over 11,000 vessels. Rajeev Suri continued: “I wish to pay tribute to Ronald Spithout for his long and distinguished career at Inmarsat and his years of service to our maritime customers and partners. His leadership helped make Fleet Xpress the success it is today and I am delighted to report that our maritime business continues to show enhanced performance which forms a solid foundation for the future. We wish Ronald every success in the future.” Ronald Spithout has been with Inmarsat since 1988 (including his time at Stratos, Xantic and Station 12) and his numerous career highlights as a voice in the maritime industry include the rollout of Fleet Xpress and the work he has done spearheading the digitalisation of shipping
As the global maritime industry looks back on a hugely challenging year for seafarers, four major maritime charities will come together at Inmarsat, to explore how technology will shape the future for seafarers’ welfare. The Mission to Seafarers, in collaboration with The Seafarers’ Charity, Stella Maris and Sailors’ Society, will be fielding their CEOs, on each of the four panels. Promoting Seafarers welfare This half-day afternoon conference, ‘Meeting the needs of seafarers in a digital age’, will be held on Monday, September 13, 2021, both in-person and in a virtual format. It will be chaired by John Adams, the Managing Director of V.Ships, who also serves as Chair of the Bahamas Shipowners Association and Vice-Chair of the International Chamber of Shipping, Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, Chair of Together in Safety and Nick Chubb, Founder of Thetius will give keynote speeches. Panel Speakers include James Muir, the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) - Ship Management at V.Ships, Mark O’Neil, Columbia Ship Management, Ronald Spithout, Inmarsat Maritime and David Gooberman, Isle of Man Ship Registry. Boosting mental Health digitally The first panel will focus on how companies responded to changing welfare needs, during 2020 The first panel will focus on how companies responded to changing welfare needs, during 2020 and the measures that will retain best practices going forward, while the second panel will discuss how to boost mental health digitally. This will be followed by a session on what investment is needed in crew technology, in order to provide for better welfare provision, what are the obstacles and how this will impact the bottom line. The final discussion will look at technology collaboration, as a means of delivering seafarer services. Ensuring seafarer welfare is a priority Conference Chairman, John Adams is expecting this to be a highly interactive conference that creates important industry dialogue. Speaking ahead of the upcoming conference, John Adams, said “The pandemic wreaked havoc on shipping’s most important asset, its people. With this event, we hope to highlight and encourage all industry stakeholders, including ship owners, managers, charterers, to work together as a community, to ensure that seafarer welfare is a priority for now and the future.” John Adams adds, “As we continuously grasp the importance of technology as a tool for support during this trialing time for seafarers, we hope that many can join us for this insightful event so we can learn from each other and pin down the best method to ensure seafarer welfare is at the top of the agenda for both the industry and governments.” The conference is free and can be attended both physically and virtually.
Inmarsat, the pioneer in global, mobile satellite communications, has expanded its agreement to deliver maritime broadband to Hapag-Lloyd, after the global transport group renewed its Fleet Xpress contract for a further five years and committed 33 more ships to the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) service. Under the extended agreement, which now covers 77 ships, the Fleet Xpress hybrid of Ka-band and continuous L-band back-up service replaces Ku-band systems onboard ships merged into the Hapag-Lloyd fleet following the earlier acquisition of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) in May 2017. Vessel communication systems Scheduled Fleet Xpress installations enable seamless service migration based on the end of the outgoing supplier’s contract. “The further standardization of our vessel communication systems is central to our Maritime IT strategy,” said Florian Liebetrau, Director IT - Marine & Maritime Operations, Hapag-Lloyd. Hapag-Lloyd has a mature strategy for its vessel connectivity and management" “The outstanding reliability and robustness of Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress as a product played a key role in our decision to expand our commitment. Hapag-Lloyd has a mature strategy for its vessel connectivity and management which demands systems-wide predictability, reliability, and integration to sustain our global vision for container transport.” Maritime broadband service Hapag Lloyd was one of the first major global shipping companies to commit to Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress following service launch in 2016, transitioning all of its in-house managed ships to Inmarsat’s maritime broadband service for vessel operations and crew connectivity. The five-year contract envisaged expanding data traffic and scalability to handle fleet growth. “We are delighted to renew and expand the work we do with one of shipping’s most advanced owners for IT, ship-shore connectivity and digitalisation,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “Standardization and integration are pivotal enablers for corporates. This agreement and its expansion to 33 additional ships clearly demonstrate Hapag-Lloyd’s objectives are being met by the reliability, performance, and service support provided by Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress.” Deep-sea container On average, a container ship’s monthly data traffic in 2021 is around three and a half times" The new agreement includes the flexibility for Fleet Xpress-connected ships that are managed out of the house and linked to Hapag-Lloyd operations to be brought under the same contract terms without renegotiation. Offering an insight into the major developments in shipping’s digital journey in recent years, Spithout said “The average committed information rates of data acceptable to deep-sea container lines today are roughly double the maximum information rates they expected in 2016." "On average, a container ship’s monthly data traffic in 2021 is around three and a half times the level experienced five years ago. Inmarsat is meeting this rapid growth in demand for connectivity at sea.”
Inmarsat Maritime Ventures, a subsidiary of Inmarsat, mobile satellite communications, has signed an agreement with SRH Connect (SRH) for SRH to acquire Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband customer base in Greece and Cyprus. The SRH acquisition involves customer contracts purchased by Inmarsat Maritime Ventures from Speedcast at the beginning of this year. SRH already provides customer support for Inmarsat’s Fleet Network Manager portfolio after signing a customer support agreement in March 2021. As part of the sale agreement, SRH will become a formal Inmarsat distribution partner for FleetBroadband and a Value-Added Reseller for Fleet Xpress. Authority comments With this agreement SRH is going back to its roots, connecting the maritime world again “Following the rapid and successful migration of the services of all of these customers as part of the agreement with Speedcast and the implementation of a customer support agreement with SRH, we are now delighted to have put in place a formal agreement for the sale of this FleetBroadband customer base to SRH Connect. It remains our preference to entrust the FleetBroadband base generally in the Greek and Cypriot market with partners rather than handling direct, allowing them the opportunity to upsell to Fleet Xpress,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “With this agreement SRH is going back to its roots, connecting the maritime world again. At the same time, this is also the basis for the execution of our vision for the future of shipping. A future where connectivity will be the basis for our suite of digital solutions. Solutions that integrate the entire ship with the business environment onshore,” said John Laderos, Executive Chairman of SRH. “We are delighted to acquire this valuable fleet and look forward to providing a high level of account management to this set of unique customers in Greece and Cyprus with the opportunity to upsell to Fleet Xpress,” said Theodoros Nikolopoulos, Chief Executive of SRH.