A change in EU regulations in July this year means all fishing vessels of more than 24 metres in length are now required to record and transmit daily activity reports of catch, transshipments, landings and sales electronically to fishing authorities. This requires a communication system which is reliable, easy to use and install but most of all cost-effective. Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband 150 terminal ticks all these boxes with simultaneous voice and data capabilities with data transmission achieving rates of up to 150 kbps. The terminal can also send and receive SMS and provides global coverage excluding the poles. An important feature to mention is that the Inmarsat network is not affected by weather making it a reliable choice for fishing vessels.
The antenna is contained in a 29cm diameter radome which weighs between only 2 kg so finding a spot for it on your vessel couldn’t be easier. The FleetBroadband 150 is part of a three-model range, with the FB 250 and FB 500 completing the FleetBroadband series, the latter two offering even higher data speeds of up to 432 kbps and the added feature of Streaming IP. Manufactured by Thrane & Thrane, the FB 150 comes with a 2 year warranty and has been granted an Ingress Protection rating of IPX6 which means the equipment has been tested and complied to be protected against heavy seas – the equipment has withstood water projected at all angles through a 12.5mm nozzle at a flow rate of 100 litres/min at a pressure of 100kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters.
The cost of the FB 150 system is £4,150 ex VAT. This includes the antenna, terminal, SIM card, handset, power cable and 10m antenna cable. After the $25.00 activation fee, there is no monthly airtime contract, and there is no minimum term; all that is required is one month’s notice. Airtime charges are as follows:
- Voice calls to fixed line cost $1.30 per minute
- Voicemail costs $1.10 per minute
- Data costs $11.50 per MB
- Text messaging costs $0.75 per SMS
- Free to receive all calls and SMS
Not only can the FleetBroadband system be used to comply with EU regulations but also for a number of other useful services:
- Telephony, email, internet access
- Real-time weather from Météo France using SkyFile Weather
- Downloading latest fish prices
- Reporting and selling catch online
- Fish finding
- Position reporting
- Depth maps
- Updating electronic logs
- Crew communications
In July 2011 fishing vessels over 15m will also be required to comply so now is the time to start planning and investing in a system which will comply with the regulations. Contact Global Telesat Communications for more information.