Inmarsat Sees Significant Regional Growth In Maritime Security, Malaysia Among Key Markets
By Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah
SINGAPORE, May 14 (Bernama) — Inmarsat, the leading global mobile satellite communications services provider, sees significant growth in the maritime security sector and regards Malaysia as one of its key markets.
Director, Government Services, Inmarsat Global Xpress Programme, Gordon McMillan said that from Inmarsat’s perspective and “in terms of our history, the maritime sector is a very key one for us.”
Currently, he said, Inmarsat has 10 satellites providing critical mission — communications data and voice — to ships at sea, military forces, media and the energy (oil and gas) industry.
“Sixty per cent of our business today comes from the maritime sector in the Asia-Pacific region. We fully recognise the significance of this region, and in particular, the strategic position of Singapore and Malaysia where the maritime traffic is passing through,” he told Bernama.
McMillan was here for the annual MilSatComm 2012 — a conference to raise awareness on the new satellites which Inmarsat was launching next year and in 2014.
“We are moving into a new frequency band which is called the KA-band, which has much higher bandwidth and able to deliver and support an awful lot more data intensive services,” he said.
McMillan is responsible for the strategic positioning and development of Inmarsat’s future Ka-Band business in the government and military sectors in the United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
“In the government context, which is my area, it creates a security risk for the maritime traffic, so we see quite a significant potential growth in the region where the security forces would need to use a combination of military and commercial satellite communications to be able to monitor what’s going on, communicate effectively between the countries, and then be able to react to any given situation.
“We think our future satellite communications services — Global Xpress will be in a strong position to support that,” he said.
McMillan said Inmarsat is supporting the Malaysian Navy; the coast guards.
“The navy is using our existing services today because of the increasing need in all military forces for more bandwidth, whether it is video services, video imagery or passing more and more data back and forth, then there’s a need for a high bandwidth.
“That’s where we see some of the growth certainly in the Malaysian context. I think looking forward into the future and coming back to my point on security of the maritime movements will be like in cargo and energy.
“Malaysia, being a key one in this, cooperates to deal with the maritime security challenge. What Inmarsat is able to do is to provide an infrastructure of communications which is interoperable – it means the Malaysian security forces along with Singapore and other countries in this region can work together or cooperate together effectively to deal with maritime risks,” he said.
“An important point to reinforce is that our business model involves the use of local partner companies which specialise in bringing together satellite communications, air-time, equipment and applications software that will make it a full solution.
“So what we are doing here is providing a business growth opportunity for local companies in Malaysia as well. We recognise that in many countries around the world where we are, whether they are local or with local expertise, or local businesses, which really understand the customer.
“I think that is quite an important part of what we are doing regionally as a global international company to the benefit of the broader economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lizzie Greenwood, Director, Government Service, Asia Pacific Global Government said: “We have partners in Malaysia like Telecoms Malaysia, and they are the ones who have the access and knowledge about how the Malaysian military wish to use our services.
“In our current service, the I-4 services, we do work through partners with both the Navy and the Malaysian maritime agency,” she added.
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