UK-based satellite operator Inmarsat has launched a new service that allows up to nine simultaneous telephone calls to be made through a single FleetBroadband terminal.
The service, which is called Multi-voice, is an enhancement to Inmarsat’s existing FleetBroadband (FB) service, and will allow vessel owners and managers to separate crew communications from operational use.
It will also provide crew with more privacy, making it easier to make personal low-cost calls away from the bridge.
The new capability is targeted at any vessel with the need to manage separate voice calls, particularly the merchant maritime market, but also other vessels that have similar crew or passenger communications requirements, such as superyachts or deep-sea fishing vessels.
FleetBroadband Multi-voice is integrated into Inmarsat's core network and terminated into public telephone networks, ensuring a high-quality voice service.
There are two levels of FleetBroadband Multi-voice available: Standard, which supports up to four simultaneous calls from a FleetBroadband 150, 250 or 500 terminal; and Enhanced, which supports up to nine simultaneous calls on an FB250 or FB500 terminal.
Frank Coles, president, Inmarsat Maritime, said that the service is “far superior” to internet calling solutions, and is cheaper than accessing multiple voice calls on a standard VSAT.
“This new capability increases the value of FleetBroadband, and ensures that the service is future-proofed for a vessel’s growing communications needs,” he said.
FleetBroadband Multi-voice can be accessed on existing FleetBroadband equipment, and with the same per-minute tariff for both pre-paid and post-paid calls.
It also supports the "505" emergency calling capability that connects a vessel immediately to a Maritime Rescue Centre.