Maritime vessel operators rely on VSAT broadband networks to improve ship-to-shore communications, boost business productivity and improve the quality of life for seafarers. VSATs are deployed for crew connectivity, operational efficiency, and greater access and interaction with resources onshore.
Throughput and coverage continue to be the primary concerns for maritime service providers. Increasingly, passengers and crew expect an experience similar to that found on land. Customers also want long-term solutions that don’t require excessive and expensive maintenance.
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ST Engineering is the market leader in delivering superior ground infrastructure, modems, and solutions across the mobility sector. Our mobility solutions deliver the high performance, efficiency, and bandwidth management that customers demand. Our platforms enables maritime and vessel operators to improve ship to shore connectivity, create a more rewarding travel experience aboard passenger ships, improve the quality of life for crew, and power onboard operational applications.
Today, more than half of all VSAT remotes deployed on maritime vessels are manufactured by ST Engineering iDirect, and nine of the 10 largest maritime VSAT service providers rely on our platform to run their networks.
For service providers, managing a global wireless network across the ocean is increasingly complex as more vessels, applications, and types of connectivity become available. Service providers need a solution that can select and pool satellite capacity across multiple spot beams and satellite constellations. The combined bandwidth pool must be leveraged across their global customer deployments and include dynamically configured SLAs to prioritize traffic. Service providers want to reduce ship visits, installs and modem updates, ultimately looking for a total value that combines throughput, efficiency, scalability (TCP sessions, network size, network throughput), automatic beam switching (ABS), advanced mobility features and security.
The VSAT modem is a technology linchpin for delivering maritime service across vessels, applications and end-user types. ST Engineering iDirect’s software-defined modems can be continually upgraded over-the-air to increase network capabilities and throughput levels, while dramatically extending the deployment life and minimizing installation costs and downtime. The decision to install or replace a terminal system must factor in considerable CAPEX, OPEX and product longevity.
VSAT is needed to enable greater operational agility and intelligence to cargo vessels navigating through busy shipping lanes. Shipping sector customers rely on ST Engineering iDirect platforms to meet a wide range of needs:
Fleet monitoring – high value asset management, predictive maintenance, optimization of operations and logistics
Smart Shipping – tracking, route information, imagery, and monitoring
Crew welfare – access to connectivity WiFi | Internet , email , chat applications, social media
The fishing segment’s primary use cases for VSAT connectivity include crew welfare, ship tracking, operational updates, weather, navigational maps, and regulatory compliance. Today, regulatory pressure on fleets and smaller, better-priced terminals are driving fishing market adoption of VSAT. A variety of new onboard, VSAT-enabled applications such as online sales of catches and auctions, vessel monitoring and telemedicine are poised to bring new sources of customer revenue—and demand for VSAT.
Offshore markets today are confronted with increased demand for higher data throughputs to support bandwidth intensive services such as video conferencing, remote operations, Internet access, VOIP, E-mail and media streaming. These services come on top of the standard communications on offshore platforms and are required to increase operational efficiency, improve crew welfare, and drive revenue. ST Engineering iDirect technology overcomes multiple challenges associated offshore environments while simultaneously maximizing spectral efficiency and service availability for video, data, voice traffic, and real-time operations.
Cruise & Ferry
Demand in maritime passenger markets is expected to reach 47 Gbps by 2026. HTS services are predicated to drive significant adoption with better coverage, more affordable bandwidth and lower-cost equipment.
As traffic demands surge, the number of vessels per passenger per ship increases, and vessel numbers grow, value-added connectivity services are becoming a bigger selling point for the cruise market than ever before. Cruise ships are demanding hundreds of Mbps for the many passengers connected to their personal communications devices.
While passengers expect bandwidth for entertainment, such as streaming video and high-speed internet, the crew and captain require more bandwidth for applications such as telemedicine, crew welfare, navigational charts, weather pattern monitoring, mechanical system monitoring, POS and inventory management, and more.
The leisure market represents the second largest market in maritime and market expansion is largely driving growth. Vessels rely on VSAT connectivity primarily for TV, live video streaming, video conferencing, passenger connectivity, crew welfare, and ship tracking. According to analysts new ship orders in the superyacht and general leisure markets remain strong demanding higher bandwidth options.
ST Engineering iDirect’s platforms feature DVB-S2 and DVB-S2X and choice between SCPC, MF-TDMA and Mx-DMA return link technologies on Dialog platform and high performance Adaptive TDMA on Evolution and Velocity platforms. These advances gives the operator the power to offer a variety of network configuration from single to multiple service areas.
Maritime mobility management
ST Engineering iDirect has proven mobility solutions optimized for high-throughput satellites and HTS platforms plus system architecture for large-scale, multi-beam networks.
Our Advanced QoS maximizes the value of a shared bandwidth pool for traffic prioritization, bandwidth management, and better SLA management.
Automated Beam Switching (ABS)
Integrated mobility management technologies enable Automated Beam Switching (ABS) that allows a vessel to automatically connect to satellite beams as it travels across multiple footprints guaranteeing a seamless connectivity without any IP session interruptions.