Page 10: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (July 2016)
Marine Communications Edition
Can Bandwidth Supply Keep up with Maritime Demand?
BY CHRIS INSALL
Chris Insall’s responsibilities include complete lifecycle support of Intelsat’s maritime solutions. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the telecommu- nications industry.
The launch of Intelsat EpicNG 29e in
January 2016. This is the ? rst of the
Intelsat EpicNG class satellites.
(Credit: Intelsat) n the next few years, demand for number of factors: nections, with 73 percent saying that the At Intelsat, we have experienced the bandwidth on the high seas will • The development of VSAT anten- minimum acceptable connection speed opposite. The more these alternative grow, in no small part due to tech- nas for ships has led to a shift away from for a crew Internet service is 512Kbps. technologies are deployed, the more end
Inology that is making operations traditional L-band connections and to users exploit the growing range of IP more ef? cient and keeping crews and higher-throughput Ku- and Ka-band sat- • Ship operators are increasingly in- technology. Then, when a vessel or rig passengers healthy, happy and connect- ellite services. The same Futurenautics vesting in big data analytics to optimize moves out of range of these on-shore ed. Just a few years ago, a cruise-going survey found that 57 percent of shipping operational ef? ciencies and cut costs. services, the operator has to support up family might have brought a single lap- companies have VSAT solutions ? tted to demand they had to before – and sat- top computer and maybe a cell phone on their vessels. • In the future, a network of sensors ellite satiates the need. When it comes aboard. Today, cruise companies ? nd built into the engines and other operating to maritime communications, at Intelsat, that the average family shows up with • When there is a VSAT solution on systems of new-build vessels will enable our primary goal is to provide our cus- 10 connected devices. And within the board, it always becomes the primary ship owners to capture a range of infor- tomers and their end users at sea with commercial maritime sector: crew mem- means of communication, with the slow- mation (such as Voyage Data Recorder seamless bandwidth throughout their bers, away at sea for months at a time, er L-band used as a backup. feeds) as well as on-board equipment passage, wherever they may be. are hungry for a robust connectivity ex- and cargo status data – requiring even To that end, our Intelsat EpicNG con- perience to stay in touch with family and • Crews are now demanding high- more bandwidth. stellation and associated network is fully friends. speed Internet connections. In the same compatible with existing Ku-band hard-
As our survey of maritime operators survey, 72 percent of crew members said Some have suggested that competition ware, networks and terrestrial technol- with the research ? rm Futurenautics the level of connectivity provided on from 4G cellular, microwave connec- ogy, and is capable of handling increases found, in the next two to three years, board is a factor in choosing to work for tions, “internet balloons” and other tech- and spikes in bandwidth demand as a there will be a 60 percent increase in a ship operator. nologies that support near-shore activi- matter of course. So, can bandwidth sup- ship-to-shore traf? c. This demand for ties would eat into the maritime business ply keep up with all this maritime de- satellite bandwidth is being driven by a • And crews want high-speed con- of satellite operators. mand? We certainly think so.
10 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • JULY 2016
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