At this time of year, sometimes you just want to take a rest from the sun, grab yourself a refreshing beverage or two, and enjoy the great sport on offer. We’ve had excellent feedback from clients watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup over the last month using conventional TVRO and our IPTV solutions using the BIG DATA Europe service. The viewing figures surprised everyone due to the excellent coverage which has introduced new fans all over the world to the talent and quality of play on the field and believe the England vs Norway match had the best viewing figures of any programme so far this year on the BBC. Fantastic to watch soccer, as I remember it, without the histrionics and play acting that we see so much these days. Also providing great entertainment, we’ve had a number of tennis tournaments including the French Open, Queens and now Wimbledon. All good entertainment during these hot, hot days and available anywhere in the Med using our streaming services.
Fantastic-value Spanish data
Our excellent new Spanish national data plans start from 1 August and the good news is they’re bigger and cheaper than ever. There are bundles available from between 100 and 800GB per month, such as 300GB for €149 – that’s less than €0.50/GB! As with all e3’s 4G services, there are no commitments and they are fully supported by our experienced team. They come with our usual flexibility allowing free suspensions, upgrades and downgrades and there’s no need to commit to having a VSAT service with us either – the choice is all yours at e3.
Connect seamlessly with Inmarsat FleetEdge
We work very closely with our partner Inmarsat and earlier this summer they organized an excellent training session for e3 on their new FleetEdge offering. This is the system that switches automatically between VSAT (GX) and Fleetbroadband to ensure your yacht is always connected wherever it sails.
It replaces their first Generation NSD but offers a lot more functionality too. Unlike its predecessor it only takes up one rack space making it particularly ideal for sailing yachts. It is also the platform where future added services such as FleetSecure cyber security will be hosted as well as any developed third-party options or apps. As ever e3 are at the forefront of this new technology having been the first to put the FleetEdge installation into operation.
Increasing Arctic coverage
Connectivity in the Arctic region is growing in importance as aircraft fly more northerly routes, merchant ships and yachts transit new high-value waterways and the region becomes of increasing geopolitical importance for diverse governments. Such a situation will result in an increased demand for connectivity and Inmarsat has recently announced a Global Xpress (GX) Arctic expansion programme.
In 2022, the company is all set to introduce a pair of new satellite payloads – GX10A & 10B – to the Arctic region in partnership with Space Norway. They will provide both commercial and government users with reliable high-speed mobile broadband services worldwide. The two multi-beam, high-throughput payloads will be placed in Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEO), ensuring continuous coverage and feature the ability to direct capacity in real-time to the areas of highest demand.
This new capacity will integrate seamlessly into the existing and planned GX network and will be fully compatible with current and future GX terminals. So a useful addition for large explorer yachts in build.
Will 5G work on yachts?
As you will all be aware, 5G will shortly be rolling out and tempting you to upgrade your phones and tablets. And if you thought 4G was fast, this fifth generation uses higher frequencies to enable significantly faster data transfer.
However, there are some major disadvantages when compared to 4G such as a reception range of 300m and a signal that doesn’t penetrate walls and glass. So we won’t be able to use it inside a building or a yacht without an unobstructed 5G antenna within range and sight. In fact 5G connectivity will require access points, more like wi-fi, rather than the cell towers that we have become used to.
So to get 5G on your yacht you will need a 5G Distributed Antenna System installed below decks and be within 300m of a shore 5G antenna. 5G-enabled phones will however work on 4G LTE networks and a yacht will still be able to connect to shore at the range of 4G using 4G, but phones will be limited by the 4G data connection speed to the shore, so there is very little advantage of the increased 5G data speed.
Monaco could be the place to drop anchor, as it has plans for 5G access points installed throughout the country. However, there will still be limitations as trees and leaves even block the signal.
USA rental car warning
Recently I was on business in Florida where I hired a car which unfortunately broke down on the interstate on route to my flight home. We called Roadside Assistance the national breakdown service for the rental company, who answered after 20 mins before telling us they would call us back. However, when we gave them our European cell phone number they said they couldn’t call back international numbers so gave us another number to call. After a similar wait it was answered by the Roadside Assistance office in Canada who were as confused as we were as to why we were given their number. At this point we called 911 – answered fast and very politely but once again we were told they couldn’t call back an international number either. In the end, we had to wait for a ranger to turn up, who didn’t. We had no option but to leave the car, walk off the interstate, get an Uber and did just manage to catch our flight. So, if you’re thinking of hiring a car in the US make sure you have a US SIM card in your phone just in case.
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