Inmarsat picked for 4th consecutive VOR
ALICANTE _ Participants in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race will be hooked up to 24/7 satellite communications from Inmarsat which has again been selected as the race’s official sat com partner. The VOR headquarters here said Inmarsat will provide global broadband data and voice communication services for VOR competitors and their support teams. The race selected Inmarsat for the 4th consecutive time.
Its sat network will deliver safety services, vessel tracking capabilities, audio and video communications and social media during the nine-month competition. Each yacht will have an Onboard Reporter (OBR) who will provide hours of multi-format content _ words, photos and video _ during the course of the race.
“Inmarsat performed flawlessly over the last 3 editions,” said VOR CEO Knut Frostadt. “And we are sure they will do so again with a boat which has been purpose-built with communications very much in mind.” For the 2014-15 edition, Inmarsat will supply the network and satellite services for the FleetBroadband 500 (FB500), FleetBroadband 250 (FB 250) and Inmarsat C safety services and tracking devices on board the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 race yachts.
FB500, Inmarsat’s flagship maritime service, delivers an always-on connection of up to 432kbps for applications such as email, internet access, real-time electronic charts and weather reporting. FB500 also features streaming IP with guaranteed connection rates of up to 256kbps. Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce called the VOR “not just one of the world’s most exciting adventures” but also “the perfect test bed to showcase the capabilities of Inmarsat’s global network.”
In addition to Inmarsat C safety services and tracking devices, each VOR yacht will carry an IsatPhone Pro satellite phone in their liferaft packs. On shore, VOR support teams will be equipped with Inmarsat’s BGAN land terminals, enabling them to set-up a full broadband communications suite at every port. Using BGAN, the support teams will be able to stay connected to the race crews wherever they are on an ocean.
Based at Alicante, Spain, the VOR started out as the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973. The 2014-15 and 2017-18 editions will be contested in a one-design, high-performance yacht, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design of the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland. The monohull racing yachts will be One-Design to reduce the cost of mounting a campaign. Host stopovers announced for 2014-15 are Alicante (Spain), Recife (Brazil), Abu Dhabi, Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (United States), Lisbon (Portugal), Lorient (France) and Gothenburg (Sweden).