With over 90 percent 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 over 1 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 driving exponential growth over the past five years. According to the NSR Maritime SATCOM Markets, 5th Edition, more than 14,000 vessels are currently online through a broadband VSAT connection. And by 2026 they predict over 37,000 vessels to be connected, which represents significant continued growth ahead. And by 2025 they predict over 50,000 vessels to be connected, which represents significant continued growth ahead.

Within the commercial segment, 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, as the average passenger brings three connected devices on board. 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. The iDirect Evolution® TDMA platform has revolutionized maritime VSAT communication. Service providers can economically share bandwidth across multiple vessels, while prioritizing each ship’s dynamic requirements without compromising quality and reliability.

Today, more than 50 percent of all VSAT remotes deployed on vessels are manufactured by iDirect. With eight of the 10 largest maritime VSAT service providers relying on iDirect’s Evolution platform to run their networks, iDirect 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 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 – expanding iDirect’s technology leadership role to a new class of customers and a new generation of VSAT services.

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