Inmarsat has announced two new technologies to improve connectivity on the water: Orchestra, a “network of networks,” and a new global narrowband network called Elera, which is a component of Orchestra.

Orchestra will tie GEO, LEO and 5G into “one harmonious solution,” according to Inmarsat, creating what the company calls a dynamic mesh network to deliver high-speed connectivity anywhere in the world.

“By combining the distinct qualities of GEO, LEO and 5G into a single network, we will deliver a service that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Our customers will benefit from dramatically expanded high-throughput services around the world,” said Inmarsat’s CEO Rajeev Suri.

According to Eric Griffin, the vice president of Inmarsat’s offshore and fishing division, Orchestra will solve critical slowdowns at crowded ports, where boats often need connectivity the most.

“Orchestra will eliminate the industry-wide challenge of congested hot spots, such as fishing ports like Dutch Harbor and Seattle. It delivers the highest average speed, lowest latency and provides a unique resilience for mission-critical applications of any network, planned or existing. Through its use of a unique multidimensional dynamic mesh network, which integrates both space-based technologies and terrestrial networks, Orchestra also enables next-generation capabilities for fishing boats such as condition-based monitoring and predictive maintenance,” Griffin said.

The Elera network, meanwhile, will provide the reliability and security for required catch reporting as well as vessel monitoring services. Elera’s “unprecedented connectivity,” Griffin added, will keep crews happier with fast, reliable connectivity while improving possibilities for telemedicine on boats.

Assets and sensors that monitor refrigeration and fish processing will be connected via these networks.

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Brian Hagenbuch is National Fisherman's products editor, a contributing editor to SeafoodSource and a Bristol Bay fisherman. He is based in Seattle.

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