Ships operating in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will get higher bandwidth for crew communications after a record-breaking satellite was commissioned
Ships operating in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will get faster bandwidth for crew communications after a record-breaking satellite was commissioned.
SES-12, the world’s most powerful satellite, delivers beams of high-throughput Ku-band to ships crossing the Indian Ocean, operating in the Middle East and in southeast Asia.
It is the third high-throughput satellite to be commissioned by SES to increase bandwidth to maritime users around the world’s oceans.
SES vice president of the maritime segment Greg Martin told Maritime Digitalisation & Communications that SES-12 delivers “significantly greater” amounts of bandwidth capacity to ships operating in the Indian Ocean region, filling gaps in Ku-band coverage.
“The all-electric SES-12 has six wide beams and 72 high-throughput user spot beams and has a digital transparent processor to increase payload flexibility to provide much more customisable bandwidth solutions,” said Mr Martin.
High-throughput broadband is improving shipowners’ capabilities to monitor vessel operations and provide better communications to crew.
“Ships are becoming online offices and with IoT more systems will be connected for fuel management and condition monitoring,” said Mr Martin.
“Crew welfare will be a growth driver in VSAT for connecting seafarers to family, friends, their companies and online training, which is important for crew retention.”
SES-12 was built by Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, where MDC witnessed its testing. It was launched by SpaceX in June 2018. Other spot-beam geostationary satellites were launched out of sequence, with SES-15 introduced in 2017 for high-throughput coverage over North America, said Mr Martin.
“SES-14 was launched in January 2018 to deliver Ku-band to Latin America.” He said both provide bandwidth to vessels operating in the Atlantic, Alaska and Caribbean.
The company is working on the next high-throughput satellite to deliver greater bandwidth to maritime users. “SES-17 will have beams of Ka-band and is scheduled to be launched in 2021,” said Mr Martin.
In its financial results released today (27 February), SES reported revenue of €2.01Bn (US$2.29Bn) for 2018, up 1.7% year-on-year as SES Networks added more cruise ship customers to its orderbook.
SES president and chief executive Steve Collar said cruise ship owners Carnival, MSC and Genting started using its satellite communications on geostationary and medium Earth orbit satellites in 2018.