Inmarsat Maritime partners with Aramco to trial world-first over water 5G mesh network

The 5G “mesh” technology aims to enable high-speed connectivity in challenging conditions, with trials planned to demonstrate range far beyond what was previously possible.

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Aramco and Inmarsat Maritime sign MOU for 5G mesh connectivity collaboration

Inmarsat Maritime, a Viasat company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aramco, a global integrated energy and chemicals company, to undertake a 5G “mesh” network trial that aims to provide high-bandwidth connectivity for Aramco’s offshore work in the Arabian Gulf.

The technology is designed to provide high-speed communication capabilities while meeting the demands of the region’s climate – including extreme heat, sandstorms, wind and water evaporation – thanks to 5G’s improved reliability in challenging weather conditions.

The MoU follows successful outdoor network testing in Rutland Water, UK, in February 2024, which demonstrated reliable and high throughput millimeter Wave (mmWave) signal propagation over water.

Further testing of the 5G mobile Integrated Access and Backhaul (mIAB) network and of Inmarsat Maritime’s specific developments will be conducted under the extreme weather conditions of the Arabian Gulf later this year. The testing of Inmarsat Maritime’s 5G mesh in the Arabian Gulf with Aramco aims to showcase world-first long-range, high-throughput mIAB deployment over the sea – far beyond the maximum 1km range previously possible.

The technology has the potential to allow Aramco to optimize its offshore operations via the 5G mesh and enable capabilities such as intelligent remote maintenance and remote operations. This will include monitoring and metering with IoT sensors, assisted operations for staff equipped with augmented reality headsets, novel safety and security features and potential for cost saving and efficient energy use.

Inmarsat Maritime’s advanced ground infrastructure offers inbuilt cybersecurity and data protection. Ships operating further from the shore will be able to supplement ground-based 5G with satellite coverage, thanks to Inmarsat Maritime’s bonded network solution, which is already onboard more than 14,000 vessels worldwide.

Ben Palmer OBE, President, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “Our technologies provide the ingredients for a truly bespoke solution, and our exciting new partnership with Aramco is the latest example of this. This new 5G mesh technology will be a significant step in helping Aramco maximize site efficiency, improve sustainability, provide a better experience for crew and protect the business from cyber-attacks. By combining many proven technologies into one integrated ecosystem, our bonded network is a single solution that can meet all customer demands – no matter how challenging the environment.”

Nabil Al-Nuaim, Sr. VP Digital & Information Technology, Aramco said: “By extending high speed connectivity to our remote and harsh offshore sites through 5G mesh technology, we aim to accelerate our plans to deploy advanced use cases under the corporate digital transformation vision. This is expected to help us further optimize our operations and improve the work environment for our operators. Our collaboration with Viasat to run the first maritime trial in the world for 5G mesh technology is a testament to our commitment to develop and deploy advanced technologies. Working with technology leaders and capitalizing on our operational experience in the field are key components for successful technology developments.”

ENDS  

Contact for media: PR@viasat.com

About Inmarsat Maritime 
Inmarsat Maritime is now a Viasat business and continues to power the digitalization of the maritime industry, making operations more efficient and safer than ever before. Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. With offices in 24 countries around the world, our mission shapes how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate and connect. Viasat is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, reliable, secure, affordable, fast connections to positively impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea, while building a sustainable future in space. In May 2023, Viasat completed its acquisition of Inmarsat, combining the teams, technologies and resources of the two companies to create a new global communications partner. Learn more at www.viasat.com, the Viasat News Room or follow us on Facebook, Instagram,LinkedIn, X or YouTube. 

Inmarsat Maritime is based in Viasat’s global international business headquarters in London, United Kingdom. For further information about Inmarsat Maritime, follow us on LinkedIn.  

About 5G Mesh
Inmarsat Maritime’s 5G mesh is a 5G mobile Integrated Access and Backhaul (mIAB) system operating in millimetre Wave (mmWave 3GPP 5G FR2), and fully integrated with Viasat network. The 5G mesh network offers high throughput and is intelligently orchestrated by Viasat network management solutions with Viasat SDN controller and Viasat SD-WAN solution. These network management solutions allow to leverage 5G mesh topology management and back-up connectivity with Viasat’s satellite systems to ensure service continuity. The service works in full compliance with 3GPP and beneficiating from the growing ecosystem driving innovation.

Copyright © 2024 Viasat, Inc. All rights reserved. Viasat, the Viasat logo and the Viasat Signal are registered trademarks in the U.S. and in other countries of Viasat, Inc. All other product or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. 

Viasat, Inc. Contacts  
Richard Jones – External Communications Manager, +44 7843 819611, PR@Viasat.com
Peter Lopez, Investor Relations, +1 (760) 476-2633, IR@viasat.com
Lidia Selivanova – Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, Inmarsat Maritime, +44 7526 193 827, lidia.selivanova@inmarsat.com

Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to the features, benefits and performance of the Inmarsat Maritime and Saudi Aramco’s 5G mesh trials and solutions; and the timing to rollout the technology. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: our ability to successfully test and implement 5G mesh or any other solution with Saudi Aramco; risks associated with the construction, launch and operation of satellites, including the effect of any anomaly, operational failure or degradation in satellite performance; our ability to successfully develop, introduce and sell new technologies, products and services; our reliance on a limited number of third parties to manufacture and supply our products; increased competition; introduction of new technologies and other factors affecting the communications and defense industries generally; the effect of adverse regulatory changes (including changes affecting spectrum availability or permitted uses) on our ability to sell or deploy our products and services; and changes in the way others use spectrum. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in our SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.

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