Connectivity is essential not only for everyday ship operations and crew welfare, but also for realizing optimized vessel and equipment performance. Making smart decisions about connectivity can enable your fleet to gain a competitive edge at sea
An effective, comprehensive and forward-thinking connectivity solution delivers numerous advantages, so the choices must be examined closely.
The best connectivity solutions feature a layered global network that offers coverage and speed to meet all satcom requirements, as well as smart data tools for transparency and control, a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy and embedded IoT functionality. Ease of installation and integration and on call and in-port global support and services 24/7/365 are also features of top connectivity solutions.
Commercial vessels and their operators increasingly have crews accustomed to always being connected, face new regulations that require real-time information and a truly connected ship, and find themselves with a growing need for flexibility in how they operate.
For shipowners, operators and ship managers, one way to make a smart connectivity choice is to focus on a ship’s connectivity ecosystem. At the heart of today’s best performing connectivity ecosystems are Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services, which in recent years have disrupted the long-standing expectations of maritime satellite communications with smaller systems, faster speeds, and more affordable data. Indeed, commercial vessels are in the midst of a major shift away from slower legacy L-band systems and toward the data speed and benefits of VSAT systems. Smaller antennas from KVH deliver superior data speeds for lower cost and ease of installation.
When planning to make the upgrade to VSAT or evaluating a replacement VSAT solution, fleets need to consider how to not only get their vessels connected, but also connected smartly. Connectivity is about moving data from ship to shore and vice versa, so any ecosystem has to have the right data tools at its core. For shipowners, this is a primary concern, and the ability to provide appropriate and necessary data flows are as much a part of modern vessel operations as bunkers and manning.
A long-standing challenge for shipowners has been the fact that most equipment onboard is a jumble of individual elements, leaving managers ashore and seafarers onboard to somehow pick a route to making everything work. A connectivity ecosystem from one provider, such as AgilePlans by KVH, leads to real productivity benefits that can’t be realized in an aggregator model with components from different vendors.
Ultimately, to ensure a fleet has what it needs to stay competitive, ship operators benefit from understanding the key elements of a smart connectivity solution − satellite coverage and data speeds, data tools, cybersecurity, hardware integration, crew welfare, and global service and support. With that knowledge, they can be sure they are making smart and informed decisions to gain a competitive advantage.
Download this e-Book to learn about the critical considerations to choosing connectivity.