Several deals in the past six weeks have demonstrated the power of partnerships in maritime VSAT
Collaboration is the key to unlocking fast broadband for maritime markets. Whether it is between service providers and satellite operators or software companies and equipment manufacturers and shipyards.
In the latest agreement, Marlink expanded and renewed its multi-year agreement for access to geostationary satellite coverage for its Sealink VSAT service. It will work with Intelsat to deliver faster VSAT connectivity in the maritime sector, says Marlink chief executive Erik Ceuppens.
This agreement enables Marlink to offer widebeam Ku-band over most shipping routes and spot beams of intense Ku-band in some ocean areas using Intelsat’s high throughput EpicNG satellites.
Intelsat’s satellite constellation has also helped KVH Industries develop an unlimited VSAT streaming service for leisure and passenger vessels. KVH Elite will be launched in November as a fast VSAT connection for yachts operating in the Caribbean. A similar service will be introduced in the Mediterranean in 2020.
KVH Elite uses Intelsat’s high throughput satellite (HTS) and KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband networks. It will enable passengers to stream films, TV content, music and internet applications using their own devices and the vessel’s VSAT hardware. That can include KVH’s own 60-cm diameter TracPhone V7-HTS and the 1-m TracPhone V11-HTS antennas.
Yachts with existing antennas will not need additional hardware to deploy KVH Elite as this involves a simple over-the-air activation without changes to the antenna or below-deck control unit.
In another co-operation, Port-IT is boosting email and secure communications for vessels connected to Station Satcom’s network. Port-IT will supply its Orilla Mail services to Station Satcom, including email and antivirus software.
Orilla Mail is integrated with Port-IT’s IRIS scanning service to ensure all emails reaching vessels are safe.
In October, Port-IT revealed a new cyber security assessment tool for shipowners and managers. This assists maritime companies with their risk assessments and to understand and manage potential online threats to their internal processes. This tool will also provide them with insight about the level of protection on board their vessels.
In Q2 2019, Port-IT introduced Orilla Lite, a slimmed down version of Orilla cyber security and software management. Orilla Lite provides software patch management and a remote desktop gateway to connect each vessel’s devices using a variety of standard network protocols.
In another partnership, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) subsidiary Hyundai Global Service (HGS) formed a strategic partnership with Intellian to deploy digital ecosystems for vessel and fleet management.
Together they are implementing the Integrated Smart Ship (ISS) solution on ships built by HHI in South Korea. This supports optimal vessel operation and management and is expected to reduce fuel costs by over 6% per year. HGS secures the satellite communications service and provides the digital ship management system and Intellian supplies the VSAT technology.
Intellian VSAT antennas will be provided to all existing and new HHI ships as a standard package. Both companies have also agreed to co-develop smart antennas to further improve the ISS solution.
For data transmissions over fast satellite links, Inmarsat gained class approval for its Fleet Data service. Bureau Veritas granted approval in principle for this secure sensor data and internet-of-things platform. This approval verifies that Fleet Data can be installed safely on board, without its operation affecting existing navigation, safety and radio communication systems.
Fleet Data enables ship operators and managers to control collection, transmission and aggregation of data into cloud-based storage using Fleet Xpress without impacting on the vessel’s main bandwidth capabilities for voice, messaging, email and internet services.