Newsroom

Stratos Deploys FleetBroadband on Vega-Reederei Ships

Bethesda, Maryland (November 29, 2010) – Stratos Global, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced it is deploying the Inmarsat FleetBroadband satellite communications service on up to 16 commercial vessels for Vega-Reederei GmbH & Co. KG (Vega).

Based in Hamburg, Vega is one of the world’s fastest-growing global shipping companies. Its fleet includes 22 container vessels, nine bulkers and two tankers. FleetBroadband from Stratos already has been successfully deployed on eight Vega vessels. Deployment on an additional eight vessels is expected in the coming weeks.

FleetBroadband from Stratos provides Vega with broadband connectivity while at sea – for email, Internet access and voice communications – ensuring optimal vessel performance, business operations and crew productivity. Vega uses FleetBroadband 250 terminals, complete with an onboard firewall.

For Vega, Stratos fully integrated FleetBroadband with AmosConnect – Stratos’ sophisticated maritime email application – to manage all email, fax, SMS and interoffice communications. Vega officials noted how AmosConnect from Stratos helps them improve monitoring of Whitelist and Blacklist changes. Stratos ChatCards for crew calling also have contributed to higher Vega crew satisfaction by providing easy billing and ordering.

For Vega, the FleetBroadband service also provides an optimal data connection for numerous other onboard applications, including planned maintenance systems, purchase systems and remote management – which allows headquarters personnel to manage the ship’s computers without visiting the vessel. With FleetBroadband, Vega engineers now can achieve high-performance, direct remote access to the ship’s computer terminals, the FleetBroadband terminal and the onboard firewall via popular remote-support applications.

In the future, Vega has the option to use FleetBroadband for engine-performance analysis and emissions monitoring, to help reduce fuel costs and comply with emissions regulations.

The Stratos Advantage suite of value-added services helps Vega attain the highest possible FleetBroadband performance, security and cost control.

“We already have enjoyed the benefits of FleetBroadband from Stratos on several of our vessels for many months and we have noticed it provides very good voice quality. FleetBroadband enables us to achieve fast, reliable data communications that maximize the integration and performance of many popular, IP-based applications,” said Achim Tober, head of Vega’s IT department. “The Stratos Dashboard web-based portal provides us with fully transparent cost and traffic control.”

Tober added, “We expect to continue benefiting from a significant reduction in airtime costs, compared to the Inmarsat Fleet 77 service we formerly deployed. The robust FleetBroadband hardware will result in the highest possible communications uptime. We also appreciate the convenient FleetBroadband Bundles that eliminate the need for capital investment in hardware.”

In the coming weeks, Vega also will deploy Stratos’ new AmosConnect Crew CommCenter. The solution enables personnel at sea to stay in contact with home via calling, private email and SMS at affordable, flat global rates – thus helping retain qualified seafarers. It provides an easily manageable, separate account for each crewmember. The Internet functionality of the application is expanded beyond email to include true onboard Internet café features, such as prepaid chatting, prepaid web browsing and access to global and local news services.

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, “Over the years, Vega’s adoption of the most sophisticated information-technology systems has helped it contain costs and maintain steady growth. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring Vega the industry’s most advance IP-based communications solution, featuring value-added services that help ensure efficient business management.”

About FleetBroadband from Stratos
Stratos has activated more than 6,000 FleetBroadband systems across all major geographic regions and vessel types. FleetBroadband from Stratos provides cost-effective, high-speed data and voice communications – available simultaneously – at speeds up to 432kpbs. FleetBroadband from Stratos also provides on-demand guaranteed IP data rates, regardless of the vessel’s location. The above-deck, stabilized, compact directional antennas are smaller than most existing Inmarsat Fleet products used today.

FleetBroadband also helps Stratos continue to provide ship managers with innovative crew-communications solutions, to support the recruitment and retention of well-trained seafarers. For example, FleetBroadband from Stratos now is available with a pre-paid web-browsing solution and other valuable services.

Communications managers have discovered that FleetBroadband from Stratos can be rapidly deployed across an entire fleet and, as a standard IP service, seamlessly integrated with head-office networks. Terminals operate globally and the user interface is standard across all products. FleetBroadband from Stratos supports any IP service, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and ISDN data for legacy applications. Terminal costs are relatively low and the network supports all the latest security protocols.

Stratos offers a wide range of value-added services to provide ship managers with optimal communications performance, management control and cost efficiency. Stratos is the largest supplier of mobile satellite services to the maritime industry, with communications to more than 40,000 maritime terminals worldwide. In addition to FleetBroadband, Stratos’ industry-leading portfolio of maritime broadband satellite services includes Iridium OpenPort and the VSAT solutions OceanVSAT and StratosITek.

FleetBroadband from Stratos Features The Stratos Advantage
With the benefit of The Stratos Advantage, FleetBroadband from Stratos is elevated far above baseline FleetBroadband services. The value-added services comprising The Stratos Advantage, including Stratos Dashboard, provide users with cost and traffic control, high-usage metering, firewall management, data optimization, real-time traffic overviews, instant remote provisioning, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and a full range of IP options.

In addition to offering The Stratos Advantage, Stratos works with application partners to deliver broadband business solutions in key maritime business areas. These solutions include voyage management, remote management, IT management and cargo management, which help reduce fuel and operations costs and improve crew and customer satisfaction. Maritime customers can secure more information on FleetBroadband from Stratos by calling their Stratos account manager or by visiting www.thepowerofmobilebroadband.com.

About Vega-Reederei GmbH & Co. KG
Headquartered at the Port of Hamburg, Vega is one of the world’s fastest-growing shipping companies. Vega offers its customers a wide range of services that include shipbuilding, shipping operations, chartering, ship disposal and financial services. For more information, please visit www.vega-reederei.de.

About Stratos
Stratos is the world's trusted leader for vital communications. Stratos offers the most powerful and extensive portfolio of remote communications solutions including mobile and fixed satellite and microwave services. More than 20,000 customers use Stratos products and industry-leading value-added services to optimize communications performance. Stratos serves U.S. and international government, military, first responder, NGO, oil and gas, industrial, maritime, aeronautical, enterprise, and media users on seven continents and across the world's oceans. Stratos is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc. For more information, visit www.stratosglobal.com.

For additional information :
Carla Riggs
Director, Corporate Communications
+1 709 748 4857
carla.riggs@stratosglobal.com