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Satellite Communications Technology

AST leads the way with very first Iridium Certus commercial activation

(6 February 2019 - AST) Global satellite solutions and projects company, The AST Group (AST), has announced the first ever commercial installation of Iridium Certus with their long-term partner Alphatron onboard Oceanwide Expeditions ‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’.

The vessel, originally built as a herring lugger in the last century, is now used for cruise expeditions in the polar regions. With up to 33 excited passengers on-board at one time the vessel uses large amounts of data, with e-mails and photographs of local wildlife and scenery being sent home and posted on social media. During a recent upgrade of communications, Iridium Certus was of course the ideal choice, offering faster speeds and reliable coverage in these remote polar regions, enhancing their unique experience.

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Rembrandt Van Rijn (courtesy: Oceanwide Expeditions)

Dennis Winterswijk, Business Unit Manager ITAV & Communication at Alphatron Marine commented, ‘We are proud to be part of the world’s first commercial Certus installation with our valued customer Oceanwide Marine Services. Certus is delivered to the vessel via a Cobham 4300 terminal and provides guests onboard the possibility to share their Arctic cruise experience with friends and family. The service has been running smoothly since installation and has resulted in a full roll-out of Iridium Certus on all vessels in their fleet.’

AST offers so much more than the Certus service alone, their proposition includes real-time application control (INTEGRA Control), tracking (IRIS) and access to their experienced 24/7 manned customer support team. Mark Sykes, AST Director said ‘We see the great partnership between our team and our partners as a key component in the successful launch (and world’s first commercial connection) of Iridium Certus. Our partner Alphatron is a sophisticated maritime organisation who really understands the compelling value that AST adds to the Certus proposition – the resulting AST/Alphatron service is so much more than just airtime and a terminal, and that’s exactly what the market tells us is needed.’

This announcement shortly follows on from the first ever commercial call which was made between Bryan Hartin, Iridium’s Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing & Mark Sykes on the 16th January 2019. During the call Bryan spoke with Mark stating ‘The combination of your value-added services with our speeds is a great combination for Iridium Certus!’

About the AST Group

The AST Group is a leading innovator in remote communication solutions.

The AST Group maintains presence globally, with offices serving both end users and channel partners in Europe, Africa, The Americas, Asia and Australia and has a proven track record in delivering high profile projects in a variety of markets sectors.

Along with local engineers and experienced sales staff, The AST Group offer unbiased advice to ensure customers receive the right communication solution to meet their business needs. The AST Group also provide a manned 24/7 Global Customer Support service to ensure continuity of service and reliable assistance from fully qualified personnel.

The AST Group operates a Quality Management System that meets the requirements of ISO 9001 to ensure that quality standards are constantly met and improved and ISO 14001, an internationally accepted standard awarded to companies that can demonstrate a proven Environmental Management System.