Inmarsat plans to support a new entry-level FleetBroadband terminal being developed for the small fishing, leisure and business vessels market from mid-2009.
The FB150 terminals will offer simultaneous voice, IP data up to 150kbps and SMS texting.
The first manufacturers of FB150 hardware will be Thrane & Thrane and AddValue, which is partnering with SpaceCom for antenna production.
Piers Cunningham, head of maritime business at Inmarsat, said: "Inmarsat and the FB150 manufacturers are committed to ensuring the terminal pricing will address the needs of the sub-US $5,000 hardware sector."
"Owners of smaller vessels want to explore the benefits of internet access through FleetBroadband’s IP data capability, and they want a service that is priced accordingly."
There are two terminal options currently supported by Inmarsat's FleetBroadband service. These are the FB250, offering Standard IP up to 284kbps and Streaming IP up to 128kbps, via an antenna 25cms in diameter; and the FB500, offering Standard IP up to 432kbps and Streaming IP up to 256kbps, via an antenna 50cms in diameter.