) Communications and SpeedCast have announced that they are jointly launching a new maritime broadband communications service addressing the commercial shipping sector.
This new service is all set to serve the key shipping routes using Ku-band satellite capacity, mostly on Eutelsat and AsiaSat satellites. In addition to a fixed flat fee per ship—irrespective of usage—the system will also automatically switch from one satellite coverage beam to another with no manual intervention.
The service will be provided through a 24/7 Network Operations Centre operated by SpeedCast (News
) in Hong Kong connecting with a network of teleports, including SpeedCast’s Hong Kong teleport and the Turin teleport operated by Eutelsat’s broadband affiliate, Skylogic.
A major feature of the service is the use of small one meter stabilized satellite antennas. According to company officials, compared with currently used 2.4 metre C-band systems, the Ku-band antennas will reduce equipment costs by more than 50 percent and the space occupied on deck by more than 60 percent.
Officials also pointed out that the service will enable “secure offshore Virtual Private Networks to be established with land-based offices so that a ship in effect becomes a mobile office fully integrated into an overall network.”
Additionally, the provision of additional services to crew such as Internet access, GSM
connectivity, Video-on-Demand and IPTV (News
) services could also be carried through the same satellite connection.
Pierre-Jean Beylier, CEO at SpeedCast, said in a statement, “We are very happy to be launching this new global Ku-band service together with Eutelsat to address some of the key issues that the shipping industry is currently facing, such as crew retention and extension of corporate applications to ships.”
He explained that Eutelsat and SpeedCast's service combines Internet access and VoIP for the crew, and secure VPN
capabilities with guaranteed bandwidth for mission critical corporate applications, and the ship becomes a mobile office with an always-on broadband connection and unlimited usage for a monthly fixed fee, as we are used to onshore.
Arduino Patacchini, multimedia director at Eutelsat, commented, “We are very excited to expand beyond our strong and well-established suite of D-STAR (News
) maritime services and regional footprint towards a worldwide coverage through this partnership with SpeedCast.”
He also believes that this new offer enables his company to respond to the maritime community and to crew who will be able to be connected to family and friends at any time.
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