Founded in 1979, Inmarsat is one of e3’s long term connectivity partners and provide a number of premium products including Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband – perfect for yachts which want to get off the beaten track and require a stable, reliable connection – particularly where conventional services do not reach. Fleet Xpress comes with a range of excellent benefits, so it’s understandable that it is now the world’s fastest growing maritime VSAT service. In addition, the Ka-band service works with smaller terminals than traditional Ku-Band, reducing the weight on board by up to 200kg.
If you are intending to sail further afield, we recommend that you upgrade your FleetBroadband (FBB) subscription, especially if more intensive use is expected. With the low subscription FBB Standard Plan, out of bundle charges can soon add up. So, save yourself the shock and upgrade to one of the more cost-effective monthly GB plans which can offer savings up to 99% . Contract the e3 team for full details to find out more.
The future of connectivity
Inmarsat also produce an annual Superyacht Connectivity Report which looks at VSAT and 4G trends within the industry by surveying a range of interested parties including captains, chief engineers and ETOs. The 2019 report examines the use of satcomms on board superyachts and reveals the future requirements of the superyacht market for global connectivity solutions.
The results make for a very interesting read. For example, although most vessels will spend at least some time in the Mediterranean, only 31.4 per cent will remain for more than 75 per cent of the year, leaving 68.6 per cent of those surveyed with a clear intention to travel further afield. Mobility is even higher in the Asia/Pacific and US regions, with 81.5 and 80 per cent respectively expecting to cruise elsewhere in the course of a year.
In line with the growing prevalence of digitalisation in the superyacht sector, the 2019 report findings provide evidence that VSAT connectivity usage is all set to surge over the next
five years. While 4G is still the most popular onboard communication system, satellite communications usage is growing with 80 per cent of respondents believing they will use VSAT for more than 50 per cent of the time within five years.
Also set to change over the next five years is the predicted increase in demand for VSAT from IoT (Sensors and Applications) devices. Currently accounting for just 6.2 per cent, this is set to increase to 24.7 per cent of operational connectivity demand. Perhaps less surprisingly is that TV over IP streaming is another area where usage is expected to jump. While the 2018 report highlighted that TVIP and content streaming demands were considered somewhat secondary to various operational uses, the study now shows that respondents are fully aware that crew, owners and guests are becoming increasingly reliant on satcomms for their enjoyment.
The final point I want to mention is that of speed. According to the survey responses, an overwhelming majority of respondents feel that their current MIR upload speeds fall within the two slowest categories, namely less than two Mbps (47.1 per cent) and two to eight Mbps (41.2 per cent). The remaining 11.8 per cent believe their speed to between 8 and 24 Mbps, with no respondents believing that their MIR speed exists within the 24-48 Mbps range. However, even within the next year respondents seem confident that their upload speeds will increase: nearly half believe that their MIR upload speed will be above eight Mbps.
Our thanks to Inmarsat for giving us permission to quote from the report – which can be downloaded at www2.inmarsat.com/superyacht-connectivity-report-2019
Free data offer
The Antigua Charter Show was e3’s final yacht event of the year and our US team report that it was well attended and that they had a lot of interest across the 4G and VSAT product ranges. In particular there were many enquiries about our latest VSAT offer, providing 800GB of free 4G data every month in the Med for customers who sign for a 12-month VSAT contract.
If you missed us in Antigua – simply contact us directly for more information on any of our products and services. To recap, for any of our customers sailing in the Caribbean region, we offer a number of 4G SIM options. You won’t find a more competitive single-SIM service than BIG DATA CARIBBEAN which is now also valid in the US Virgin Islands. Don’t forget, it’s one SIM for the whole region with no SIM swapping necessary. If you happen to use our great value and flexible BIG DATA EUROPE SIM, remember it can also be used in the French Caribbean at no extra cost. Finally, our Bahamas-only 4G data service is ideal for those yachts sailing in the region – offering 125GB for only $350, the SIM is valid for 30 days. What’s more, each sale goes towards supporting YachtAid Global and their efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Dorian earlier this year.
Looking forward to 2020
It’s certainly been a memorable year for all of us at e3 with a whole range of exciting product and service launches. We will have more for you in the coming year and I look forward to telling you all about these in the Islander over the coming months. In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and healthy year ahead.
Roger Horner – e3 systems
+34 971 404 208