Vessel owners can install antenna hardware to extend capabilities of voice and data transfer services for long-term evolution (LTE) and 4G networks as an alternative to satellite communications for coastal and shortsea connectivity
Typically, coastal 4G/LTE services have a range to around 12 nautical miles, but a new service introduced this month extends this out to 60 nautical miles for fast and low-cost connectivity.
This can be used for internet-of-things technology, big data transfer, crew welfare services and operational communications over a robust link.
4G/LTE services deliver fast bandwidth with low latency, as long as vessels remain within network coverage. Outside this coverage, vessels need to revert to satellite communications.
AMI Marine has introduced X-LTE to provide bandwidth speeds of up to 150 mbps, with low latency to 60 nautical miles offshore. This is a 4G offshore solution for commercial vessels with no bandwidth throttling, connectivity issues due to weather and no congestion.
AMI Marine said there is no more power output than a smartphone and X-LTE can be installed by a vessel engineer and crew. There are no heavy items to lift, nor is there any hot work required. Hardware includes a Sputnik24 antenna and connection cables. Seamless connectivity to any number of roaming partners in a single territory is offered due to AMI’s partner SIM options.
A pay-as-you-go service is available for prepurchase trials and there is a connected signal off most coastlines worldwide.
Other 4G/LTE marine and offshore services are available such as MVG’s NeptuLink, which delivers continuous high-speed internet connectivity of up 100 Mbps out 20 nautical miles offshore. It is tailored to withstand the harsh marine conditions of high winds, corrosive elements, sea swells and lulls.
NeptuLink has a dual-SIM option, enabling users to select the most optimised internet coverage, thus avoiding roaming costs. Equipment includes a transceiver unit, a local area network connector and power connection for 12 V direct current.