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GE SatCom Launches Maritime Solution

By | September 2, 2010
      [Satellite TODAY 09-02-10] GE SatCom is launching a satellite-based communications service for shipping operators, the company announced Sept. 1.
          The Satlynx Maritime solution aims to provide a platform for delivering a triple-play service, with telephone, Internet access and a range of TV content that can be multiplexed into any ship quarters. The service operates on the Ku-band iDirect Evolution platform and can automatically switch to an L-Band link via Inmarsat or Iridium as a backup solution.
          GE Satcom said the project originally was developed and co-piloted in collaboration with a Hamburg-based German fleet operator, whose insight into the needs of commercial shipping and its crew were critical to the solution design. A six-month pilot was first carried out on a large container vessel operating between ports in Asia, Africa and Europe and following successful acceptance, the service has been scheduled for commercial rollout to 14 more ships.
          “The always-on connectivity we provide means the service will be available 24/7 over most commercial shipping lanes around the world, enabling the fleet owners and crew to constantly optimise the cost of communications for both ship operation and extended plug and play Internet, voice and TV services,” GE Satcom President and CEO Ronny Svang said in a statement.
          The maritime enterprise market is proving itself lucrative for satellite players. SpeedCast CEO Pierre-Jean Beylier told SatelliteTODAY that operators were seeing strong growth in this area. “Maritime represented a minority of our revenues in 2009 but was growing rapidly. This year it will be even more. Maritime revenues grew by 104 percent in 2009. We anticipate over 100 percent growth in 2010 as well.”
          SingTel Vice President Titus Yong said his company is experiencing a maritime boom as well. “We have so many orders from the maritime market right now, it is difficult to deliver them all.”
          Inmarsat CEO Andy Sukawaty said the maritime market is displaying positive trends. “If you look at world trade volumes, they are going in the right direction. I think what surprised us during the downturn is that our revenue usage volumes and terminal activations just kept ticking along and growing.”

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