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Inmarsat confirms new KSA connections

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Inmarsat’s maritime, aviation and enterprise businesses are to deploy enterprise connectivity solutions to customers based in Saudi Arabia, with service roll-out supported by distribution partners Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom.

Inmarsat’s maritime, aviation and enterprise businesses are to deploy enterprise connectivity solutions to customers based in Saudi Arabia, with service roll-out supported by distribution partners Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom.

The partnerships are supported by the acquisition of new spectrum licenses, which will facilitate connection to Inmarsat’s narrow-band (L-band) and high-capacity broadband (Ka-band) Global Xpress (GX) services for the first time, for enterprises across the country.

On land, Global Beam Telecom and Sada Al Ammah will work with Inmarsat’s Enterprise business to bring connectivity services to land-based users in the Middle East.

Inmarsat’s Maritime business, in conjunction with Sada Al Ammah, will distribute connectivity services for merchant and offshore vessels operating in Saudi waters, providing full access to Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress services. It has also signed a separate installation agreement with service company Master Systems.

The combination of Inmarsat’s GX Ka-band and FleetBroadband L-band service is expected to enable the “digital transformation of Saudi and foreign-flagged vessels operating in the region”, according to Inmarsat.

“Saudi Arabian shipping and offshore companies have shown an increasing appetite for the latest digital services to improve operating efficiencies and Inmarsat is delighted to offer our Fleet Xpress service in Saudi and the region in conjunction with our partners,” said Ronald Spithout, president, Inmarsat Maritime.

“Owners now see the need for an ecosystem of value-added services to enable digitalisation, rather than just buying a Ku-band VSAT connectivity pipe. That’s why we are seeing demand for Inmarsat’s Fleet Data IoT platform, our Fleet Secure suite of cyber security services and our crew welfare and retention solution, Fleet Hotspot.”

Sada Al Ammah will also play a leading role in delivering cockpit safety services and passenger cabin broadband Wifi connectivity (GX Aviation for commercial airlines and Jet ConneX for business jets) to companies based in Saudi Arabia, enabling airline and business aviation passengers to browse the internet, stream video and music, check and update social media and more during their flights.

“Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing and important market for aviation connectivity solutions,” said Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation.

“Inmarsat looks forward to working with commercial airlines in Saudi Arabia to enable them to upgrade to the world’s leading aviation connectivity solutions, covering high-speed inflight passenger broadband in the aircraft cabin and gold standard operations and safety in the cockpit,” he added.

The L-band network enables a wide range of use cases such as fleet management, remote analytics, data transfer and other IoT/M2M applications in areas with non-existent or unreliable connectivity. Focus areas for these use cases will include oil and gas, transport and aid and non-governmental organisations (NGO).

The announcement is the latest in a series of connectivity developments in Saudi Arabia, which has some of the highest internet usage in the world. Late last year, London Internet Exchange (LINX) partnered with STC to set up an IX in Jeddah.

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