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Inmarsat unveils its response to Elon Musk’s Starlink

Facing unprecedented business challenges from the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink and a raft of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite providers such as OneWeb, Inmarsat Maritime has today made its response known.

Inmarsat, the dominant satellite communications provider to the shipping industry this century, today unveiled NexusWave, a network offering high-speed connectivity, unlimited data and global coverage, integrating multiple high-speed networks in real-time including Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band, LEO services, and as-available coastal LTE service with an additional layer of L-band. NexusWave will also integrate the next-generation ultra-high capacity high-speed ViaSat-3 Ka-band service, following expected entry into service in 2025.

The widespread, rapid adoption of Starlink internet services on hundreds of ships was arguably the biggest onboard tech development of 2023, something that has snowballed this year.

Musk started marketing Starlink to maritime customers in the middle of 2022 and within the space of around 12 months, many of the largest names in commercial and cruise shipping had signed up for fleet-wide deals for the service, which enables high-speed internet with speeds of over 200 Mbps, a significant leap forward in terms of internet speed and latency.

In a bid to grab an even greater market share, a number of Starlink’s authorised resellers have introduced a special deal whereby any ship with a registered IMO number can get two months of free five terabyte-a-month mobile priority service to trial the new technology.

Inmarsat has had to face up to losing some of its biggest clients in merchant and cruise shipping in recent months. Nevertheless, the president of Inmarsat Maritime, Ben Palmer (pictured), said today NexusWave could be a “game-changer”.

“At a time when reliable communications are a competitive advantage, maritime operators are seeking a value proposition tailored to their needs and rooted in high performance, certainty, and targeted outcomes. This is where NexusWave fulfills all of those demands, and more. Truly a game-changer in maritime communications, the new solution gives our customers the confidence to operate on their own terms, anywhere in the world, with complete peace of mind,” Palmer said. Splash 247

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