Intelsat Adds Compact FlexMaritime 45cm Antenna Class

April 7, 2021

Yachting Journal

(Photo: Intelsat)

Satellite communications services provider Intelsat on Wednesday released a smaller antenna class for its FlexMaritime high-throughput satellite (HTS) service geared for leisure, fishing and commercial maritime vessels globally.

The new maritime mobility solution enabled by the 45cm antenna is designed to bring a new level of broadband connectivity performance and affordability for fishing, leisure, tugs and other workboats, as well as smaller or coastal merchant ships, Intelsat said.

Small enough to hand carry aboard vessels, the 45 centimeter (cm) antennas are easy to install and connect to the Intelsat FlexMaritime network, which provides data speeds of up to 6 x 2 megabits per second (Mbps), enabling everything from accessing real-time online weather forecasts to livestreaming on social media.

The addition of the 45cm terminal represents the third terminal class for Intelsat FlexMaritime services, joining Intelsat’s existing 60cm and one-meter antenna service offerings.

45cm terminals from Intellian and KNS are now qualified on the Intelsat FlexMaritime network (Images: Intelsat)

Shane Rossbacher, Intelsat director of maritime products, said, “By combining new 45cm antenna technology with the FlexMaritime global HTS satellite network, we have enabled smaller commercial and recreational vessels to easily, and affordably, access the same great connectivity using a smaller and cost-effective antenna form factor.”

45cm terminals from KNS and Intellian are qualified on the Intelsat FlexMaritime network. They come with a choice of separate or integrated Antenna Control Unit (ACU) and a modem powered by ST Engineering iDirect. Connectivity is provided by the Intelsat FlexMaritime network, which delivers multi-layered global coverage through more than 140 satellite beams.

“With Intelsat’s new FlexMaritime 45cm antenna class, users will experience unmatched performance with ubiquitous coverage wherever they go, enabling even more vessels around the world to take advantage of the high-throughput capabilities of Intelsat’s global network,” Rossbacher said.

Over the last year, Intelsat had done extensive testing of the new 45cm service with its beta partner KNS, which included fine tuning design and algorithms to meet the FlexMaritime requirements, the company said, noting that sea trials were also conducted earlier this year onboard the emergency response and rescue vessel Esvagt Innovator.

Intelsat and Seasat A/S tested the new Intelsat FlexMaritime 45cm service on board the Esvagt Innovator earlier this year. (Photos: Intelsat)

“We conducted extensive testing and sea trials of FlexMaritime’s 45cm service using the KNS C4 antenna, with the service consistently meeting or exceeding our performance expectations. In fact, during testing, our crew stayed connected during some very harsh sea conditions,” said Kim Martinsen, CEO and co-founder of Seasat A/S, a Flex45 beta launch solution partner.

“This is a great application,” Martinsen said. “Our compact and lightweight antenna is easy to install, and the flexibility of Intelsat’s service allows end customers to quickly and easily dial bandwidth up or down to meet their real-time needs.”

Maritime solutions providers can purchase Intelsat-qualified 45cm terminals directly from KNS or Intellian, or from their distribution partners.

Intelsat FlexMaritime services are offered in month-to-month or annual service agreements exclusively through Intelsat’s network of FlexMaritime solutions partners, including Flex45 beta launch partners Seasat A/S and World-Link Communications. Wholesale, end-terminal package models come with a choice of monthly, gigabyte volume-based plans and no long-term usage commitments.