Global mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat and radio and satellite communications solutions provider Cobham SATCOM have been awarded a contract to connect 732 fishing vessels active in the Maldives Economic Exclusion Zone to Inmarsat’s Fleet One maritime broadband services.
Cobham’s SAILOR Fleet One uses the existing Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation to deliver reliable global voice calling and internet connectivity via a compact, lightweight antenna and a simple installation process. The partners say that the technology’s affordability makes it particularly accessible for smaller boats looking to access maritime satellite communications.
The go-ahead follows trials of Fleet One services and SAILOR Fleet One terminals from Cobham aboard 15 boats, confirming that performance exceeds specifications for a new vessel monitoring system (VMS) under the Maldives’ Sustainable Fisheries Resources Development Project to improve monitoring, control and surveillance in the fisheries sector.
The VMS project, agreed between Maldives-based operator Ooredoo and the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, is funded by the World Bank.
The five-year contract envisages the supply and maintenance of the VMS, to include Fleet One satellite communications over L-band from Inmarsat, along with airtime and secure communications server via integrated monitoring and SAILOR antennas from Cobham SATCOM installed by Ooredoo.
Fleet One will support electronic catch documentation and traceability (eCDT) to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing. In addition, the Fleet One Vessel Monitoring System ensures seamless monitoring of fishing vessels for owners and the regulator, and enables new opportunities for the crew, while assuring their safety on board. The platform can also provide safety add-ons such as weather monitoring.
The partners say that Fleet One is over twenty times faster than traditional vessel monitoring systems. It will support crew chat, mobile banking and live video monitoring to the small and mid-sized fisheries segment.