The satellite communication industry should prepare for the increasing VSAT bandwidth ships will require in the years to come, writes Anastasis Kyrkos.
Ships need to be able to access progressively more applications and services because owners are faced with increasing IMO regulations, the continuous struggle to cut down on vessel operational costs and rising demands for crew welfare. We have reached, if not surpassed, the point where every vessel should be considered to be a separate entity, with its own internet services and the network needs of a small office.
Vessel owners will be able to cut vessel maintenance costs and enhance the much needed ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship communications by taking advantage of the latest innovative technologies. Some examples of how investing in higher bandwidth would easily produce a good return on investment are:
Ship performance management – with a complete remote monitoring management system that can be deployed to all ships. Shipping companies can have a powerful tool to reduce operating expenditure, and improve operational efficiency.
Crew internet – the internet on ships is key to recruiting and retaining seafarers. It seems logical to think that as land-based applications have increasing bandwidth needs, consequently ships will have to catch up as well.
Remote video monitoring – streaming live video content for engineering repairs, healthcare issues or simple vessel inspections are only some of the ways video streaming could be of benefit in lowering engineer and travelling costs, or even saving a seafarer’s life.
Described above are just some of the bandwidth-eating services that require continuous data transmission in order to operate efficiently. Shipowners will have to see the real value and invest in VSAT and network solutions that combined can drive down vessel costs. As ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship needs increase exponentially, Marpoint stands at the forefront of the internet of ships using the latest technologies to provide complete custom-made solutions for bandwidth optimisation.
Marpoint has developed the EVO² router as an enterprise-grade router for controlling a multi-person vessel network on all satellite broadband installations. This can include VSAT, FleetBroadband, Iridium, 3G, and WiFi. EVO² uses bandwidth allocation policies and network management to allow the running of multiple applications for crew internet, business email, file transfers, and video streaming.
Both VSAT installations and bandwidth needs will be increased in the years to come. All vessels will require innovative hardware and software network solutions to handle all their ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship communications needs. The satellite industry needs to be prepared.