--New plans offer reliable, global broadband connectivity for a predictable monthly fee--
BETHESDA, MD, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Stratos Global, the leading global provider of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions, today announced the commercial availability of its Inmarsat FleetBroadband Flat Fee service plans, known as FBB Flat Fee.
Stratos' new FBB Flat Fee plans offer the high performance (up to 432kbps), global coverage, simplicity and reliability of Inmarsat FleetBroadband - in addition to The Stratos Advantage value-added services - all at an affordable, flat monthly price.
The FBB Flat Fee plans include 10GB and 15GB per-vessel data connectivity options. The plans also include highly competitive rates for voice calls.
Shipping companies now can choose from contract periods of two to four years. The four-year contract period represents the most competitive FleetBroadband commercial offering on the market today.
These plans utilize a standard FleetBroadband 500 terminal, simplifying installation and support. FleetBroadband has become the standard in global maritime communications. Many newly built vessels, or ships that have already upgraded to FleetBroadband, are already fully equipped to utilize the service today - thereby making additional capital costs unnecessary.
Stratos also offers customers the option of a three-month, paid trial period. During the trial period, customers can upgrade or downgrade their FBB Flat Fee data allocation or contract duration. The trial period allows time for Stratos and the customer to work together, to select the plan that meets the requirements of each vessel.
Stratos today is the market leader in the number of FBB Flat Fee plans deployed. The plans have been deployed by Stratos for a number of its existing customers, as well as by Stratos Channel Partner Navarino Telecom for ship-management companies Grieg Shipping Group, OSM Ship Management and Ugland Marine Services, among others.
FBB Flat Fee is one of several innovative Stratos broadband programs that provide shipping companies with a flexible pathway to Inmarsat's Global Xpress Ka-band service. Global Xpress, which is expected to be commercially available in 2013, will deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps. Customers contracting for FBB Flat Fee plans from Stratos can upgrade to Global Xpress without penalty.
"Many of the world's leading shipping companies are demanding higher volumes of data - with the dependability of L-band satellite communications - to support critical applications. They also want to choose from a range of price plans that meet their specific requirements," said Joe Apa, Stratos Vice President, Global Maritime. "We are meeting those demands with simple, affordable plans such as FBB Flat Fee, in addition to our managed global broadband service XpressLink."
Apa concluded, "Our wide range of broadband solutions proves that we are ideally suited to help expand our customers' communications capabilities as we prepare for the availability Inmarsat's Global Xpress services."
FleetBroadband from Stratos provides ships with global broadband connectivity while at sea - for email, Internet access and voice communications - ensuring optimal vessel performance, business operations and crew productivity.
Since its introduction in 2007, Inmarsat's FleetBroadband has been deployed on more than 21,600 vessels. Stratos' more than 9,000 FleetBroadband activations encompass all major geographic regions and vessel types, from customers including Wallem Shipmanagement, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Varun Shipping Co., MISC Berhad, Albacora Group, MPC Steamship and the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Stratos deployments of FleetBroadband for many of the world's largest shipping companies include the full range of The Stratos Advantage value-added services for which Stratos has become well known. Those services ensure that customers attain the highest possible FleetBroadband performance, security and cost control. They include:
--The online Stratos Dashboard, for cost and traffic control, 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.
--AmosConnect, Stratos' sophisticated communications application, to manage all interoffice communications.
--Stratos' new AmosConnect Crew CommCenter that enables seafarers to stay in contact with home via calling, private email and SMS at affordable, flat global rates - while enjoying true onboard Internet café features, such as prepaid chatting, prepaid web browsing and access to global and local news services.
--Stratos ChatCards for crew calling, which contribute to crew satisfaction by providing easy billing and ordering.
FleetBroadband from Stratos also provides an optimal data connection for many 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.
Stratos customers also use FleetBroadband for engine-performance analysis and emissions monitoring, to help reduce fuel costs and comply with emissions regulations.
About FleetBroadband from Stratos
FleetBroadband from Stratos provides cost-effective, high-speed data and voice communications - available simultaneously - at speeds up to 432kbps. FleetBroadband from Stratos also provides on-demand guaranteed IP data rates, regardless of the vessel's location.
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, maritime VSAT services and Inmarsat XpressLink - which combines FleetBroadband with VSAT to provide a highly flexible migration path toward Inmarsat's Global Xpress services.
Stratos also 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, sending e-mail to email@example.com, or by visiting www.thepowerofmobilebroadband.com.
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