Germany's Fairplay Towage Selects FleetBroadband from Stratos for Deep-Sea Tugboats

Mar 11, 2011, 02:00 ET from Stratos Global Corporation

--Stratos recognized for greatest contribution to FleetBroadband sales growth in 2010--

BETHESDA, MD, March 11 /PRNewswire/ - 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 six deep-sea tugboats in Fairplay Towage's fleet. Deployment on four of the vessels already has been completed.

Based in Hamburg, Fairplay Towage is one of Europe's leading tugboat operators in the ports of Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Rostock, Wismar, Szczecin and Swinoujscie. Its fleet includes 27 modern vessels for harbor, coastal and deep-sea towage.

The Fairplay Towage contract is the latest example of Stratos' successful deployment of FleetBroadband on a wide range of vessel types across all major geographic regions. Stratos has activated more than 6,700 FleetBroadband terminals and was recognized as the Inmarsat Distribution Partner making the greatest contribution to FleetBroadband global sales growth in 2010.

By ensuring reliable broadband connectivity at sea, FleetBroadband from Stratos will help Fairplay Towage achieve optimal vessel performance, improved business operations and increased crew productivity.

For Fairplay Towage, Stratos fully integrated FleetBroadband with AmosConnect 8 - Stratos' sophisticated maritime communications application - to improve management of all interoffice communications.

Fairplay Towage also improves crew welfare by deploying Stratos' 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. The solution's high functionality helps retain qualified seafarers. The application features an easily manageable, separate account for each crewmember. Fairplay Towage expects to deploy the Internet café functionality of the latest version of AmosConnect Crew CommCenter later this year.

To attain the highest possible FleetBroadband performance, security and cost control, Fairplay Towage makes full use of The Stratos Advantage suite of value-added services.

"FleetBroadband enables us to achieve faster data transmission and better voice quality than the legacy systems we previously used - at a lower cost. The system helps us improve business management by increasing the performance of many of the IP-based applications we already deploy," said Fairplay Towage's Information Technology Manager Thomas Wesselski. "Also, the wide range of Stratos value-added services - including onboard firewall and online invoicing - help ensure high security and strict cost control."

Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm said, "As with other shipping companies, progressive towage operators are continually seeking the most advanced communications systems to maximize applications, reduce costs and improve crew welfare. With this FleetBroadband deployment, we look forward to helping Fairplay Towage use our expanding range of new applications to maintain high operating efficiency and a competitive advantage."

About FleetBroadband from Stratos
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 Fairplay Towage
Founded in 1905, the Fairplay Towage group of companies is mainly engaged in the towage industry, with offices in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Rostock, Wismar, Szczecin and Swinoujscie. In addition to harbor towage, which is the origin of Fairplay Towage's business, the Company also is involved in deep-sea towage, offshore support and salvage works. For more information, please visit www.fairplay-towage.com.

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.



SOURCE Stratos Global Corporation