Inmarsat has announced the End of Life (EOL) dates for its Fleet 33, 55, and 77 devices. After these dates these legacy fleet devices will no longer be covered under the Inmarsat network and users will find that they will no longer be receiving/transmitting data. The dates can be seen in the table below.
As these EOL dates approach users should consider upgrading to a newer satellite broadband device. These newer devices are more reliable and provide a stronger, faster connection over the older legacy devices. Also unlike the legacy devices which data is pay-as-you-go, often at a premium, these newer devices provide much more flexible data rates and plans. Not only is this data ultimately cheaper but the performance is much better as well.
Some options for Legacy Fleet customers looking to upgrade are:
Ideal for leisure yachts and near-shore fishing boats, Fleet One is a service tailored to deliver dependable voice and broadband data to smaller vessels. Fleet One meets the low data usage demands of occasional or seasonal users when they move out of VHF or GSM coverage areas. The Fleet One provides download speeds of up to 100kbps, up to 10x faster than the fleet legacy devices.
Fleet One devices are made by multiple manufactures, like KVH or Addvalue, and all start at a lower price point ideal to put satellite broadband in the reach of any size of commercial or leisure vessel. The Fleet One comes with a specially designed compact and easy-to-install antenna.
Inmarsat offers affordable pricing plans that take into account seasonal variations and occasional use. These plans as low as $25 a month or $5 a MB.
The Iridium Pilot running on the Iridium OpenPort network is connected to the world's largest and only truly global commercial communication network, providing pole-to-pole coverage for ships at sea. The Iridium Pilot is engineered and built to perform in the toughest of conditions and keeps you connected when you most need it.
For ships large and small, the Iridium OpenPort broadband service offers highly reliable broadband voice and data communications priced to fit any budget. The Iridium Pilot's three independent phone lines increase retention by helping you keep the crew happy - there's no need to line up to call. Flexible and affordable prepaid options allow calling even at peak times.At a slightly higher starting price point than the Fleet One, the Iridium Pilot provides download speeds of up to 134 kbps and plans as low as $49 a month or under $1 a MB.
KVH TracPhone V3-IP
The TracPhone V3-IP is a breakthrough maritime satellite communications product designed for the broadband era and its requirements for onboard networking. Developed by KVH specifically for the industry-leading mini-VSAT Broadband network the V3-IP takes a revolutionary approach to maritime satellite communications to maximize data and voice throughput while preventing interference to adjacent satellites.
The V3-IP is the key to mini-VSAT Broadband 2.0, the most complete satellite communications solution for the maritime industry. Enjoy the ease of a single provider for all the boat’s broadband needs – with fast Internet access and lower airtime rates. Also, receive gigabytes of entertainment and operations content every month with IP-MobileCast, without impacting the boat’s airtime plan.
The V3-IP features the Integrated CommBox Modem (ICM) for easy installation and use. The ICM is a streamlined below decks unit that combines everything needed into one enclosure. This includes an easy to set up and use antenna, a network manager to manage internet access, as well as VoIP and Wi-Fi capabilities. The V3-IP provides download speeds of up to 2 mbps.
Due to its larger functionality and more powerful/faster data the V3-IP starts at a higher price point than both the Fleet One and Iridium Pilot. However the data plans are closer to the ones found on the Iridium Pilot and are as low as $49 a month and under $1 a MB.