With over 90%of worldwide trade served by the maritime market, vessels at sea rely on broadband connectivity and VSAT technology to stay in touch with operations on land, increase work productivity and improve the quality of life for the 1.2 million seafarers that are the backbone of the maritime industry.

After nearly two decades of steady growth, VSAT connectivity is generating significant new value across the maritime industry through a range of business initiatives, operations, crew welfare and passenger applications. At the same time, VSAT economics are improving from both a hardware and service perspective.

VSAT networks supporting connectivity at sea have seen exponential growth over the past five years. According to newly published fourth editions of The comsys Maritime VSAT Report, more than 20,000 vessels are currently online. The addressable market that once stood around 10,000 vessels has surged to over 51,000, which represents 71% of the total market and equates to significant growth ahead.

For example, large shipping vessels have adopted VSAT to retain crew so they can remain connected while at sea. Cruise ships have equipped their ocean liners with satellite to meet the growing demand for passenger connectivity. Oil tankers, as well as oil rig service vessels, also are using VSAT to improve safety and operational intelligence.
As the market advances, iDirect plays a critical role along with its partners in leading the way. iDirect’s Evolution® TDMA platform has revolutionized maritime VSAT communication. Service providers can cost-effectively share bandwidth across multiple vessels, while prioritizing each ship’s dynamic requirements without compromising quality and reliability.

Today, more than 50% of all VSAT remotes deployed on vessels are manufactured by iDirect. Eight of the 10 largest maritime VSAT service providers by revenue rely on iDirect’s Evolution® platform to run their networks. Evolution will continue to foster growth with further advancements in remote performance, bandwidth efficiencies and network scalability.

Now with the debut of enterprise High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services, iDirect is revolutionizing the industry through its new iDirect Velocity® platform. iDirect Velocity® is designed to enable the global delivery of high-performance capacity over spot-beam satellites. Inmarsat, Intelsat and Telenor each are taking their HTS solutions to market over iDirect Velocity® – expanding iDirect’s technology leadership role to a new class of customers and a new generation of VSAT services.

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