Inmarsat M4 is a totally digital system primarily used in conjunction with ISDN and is both data and multi-telephone capable. Several phones with discrete phone numbers can be connected to an M4 ISDN line providing independent conversations. ISDN is by nature a 64-kilobit data port capable of connecting to any ISDN shore system. The Inmarsat M4 will seamlessly create communication lines to and from oilfields & offshore oil rigs.
Mini-M is a subset of M4 and provides single digital telephone service and 2400-baud data connect. Typically it is used primarily for voice communications where cost is a primary concern. The Mini-M features an Omni directional antenna reducing the complexity and cost of the system. It also offers pay-phone service using a credit card system as well as PABX interfacing. Although Mini-M is a single phone system, multiple numbers may be assigned to ring separate phones such as pay phone, rig superintendent or communications center.
Fleet 77, the newest of Inmarsat offerings, provides digital voice and data connect capabilities. Unlike the other Inmarsat technologies, Fleet 77 is data connected to the shore station continuously. Usage fees are based upon the amount of data transferred and not the connect time.