Horizons 3e: Redefining True Broadband Connectivity on the High Seas
Mark Rasmussen, VP and GM, Mobility, Intelsat
With its large population spread across a vast area and a geography dominated by water, no region depends more on the shipping sector than the Asia Pacific and Oceania. The trade and economic growth of the region are reliant on thousands of vessels of all types and all sizes – commercial shipping, fishing vessels, cruise ships and mega-yachts. This influence also extends beyond the region, as maritime transport is the backbone of global trade and the global economy.
As such, maritime operators are relying more and more on always-on broadband connectivity to upgrade operations, increase efficiency, transport securely and ensure that crews and passengers remain connected at sea. Given the operational and passenger demands, maritime operators need access to a broadband network that delivers the speed and reliability required by such an important segment of the economy.
The Intelsat EpicNG satellites were specifically designed to provide high performance data connectivity for mobile networks for the maritime sector, as well as aviation and automotive. And by the end of 2018, Horizons 3e will be delivering these HTS services for sea-going vessels in Southeast Asia, Oceania and across the Pacific. It will also complete our global high-throughput coverage, integrating with five Intelsat EpicNG satellites already in orbit, and work seamlessly with our Globalized Network to deliver broadband connectivity where our maritime network operators customers and the global maritime sector need it most.
Intelsat is already the provider of choice for maritime users that demand true broadband speeds and the best reliability. Delivering a consistent, high-quality broadband experience, regardless of location, is becoming increasingly important, and providing this level of coverage and service can only be done with a global network that includes HTS, wide beam satellites, teleports and support teams. With Horizons 3e, operators and crews across Asia and the Pacific will have a clear choice between a network that delivers the most complete combination of speed and reliability available or a best-effort service that falls back on low-power L-band when services are interrupted.
The Intelsat maritime network also addresses the challenges that cost-conscious maritime operators face in today’s economic environment. The efficiency of Intelsat EpicNG reduces total cost of ownership, and its backward-compatible design means end users can access the higher performance using existing shipboard equipment. In addition, we have partnered with companies such as Kymeta to design and produce innovative, flat, electronically steerable antenna solutions optimized for Intelsat EpicNG that are easier to install, require lower power and have an improved form factor, making it easier for vessels of all sizes to access broadband connectivity.
But it takes more than just new technology to make broadband services available and affordable. New business models are just as important. This is why we have introduced a managed services solution, IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime, which delivers maritime operators the flexibility, independence, control and the ability to differentiate their offerings for their customers. Ultimately, it means that the network operators and their customers in turn, can focus on their businesses while Intelsat makes sure all vessels are connected.
At the same time, this broadband throughput can enhance the ability for ship operators to improve the lives of crew members. According to a recent Futurenautics report, 92 percent of seafarers reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work, up from 78 percent in prior years. And keeping crews happy and safe is key to loyalty and improving operations. This reduces the need to train new crew members and has a positive impact on the bottom line.
We are not making these assertions based on assumptions. Intelsat EpicNG and IntelsatOne Flex are delivering results for the maritime sector today.
- KVH is the inaugural partner for IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime and its customers are seeing data speeds triple, and, in some cases, increase by a multiple of six.
- Intelsat EpicNG has enabled Marlink to deliver HTS services to cruise and passenger vessels, contributing to an increase in bandwidth delivered on Marlink’s Sealink VSAT service of more than 220 percent during 2016, more than three times larger than what Marlink was delivering at the beginning of 2016.
- And in May, Intelsat enabled Speedcast to set a world record for satellite bandwidth to a cruise ship, delivering 3.174 Gbps to Carnival Horizon, Carnival’s newest mega cruise ship. This unparalleled data rate sets a new standard of guest experience for internet onboard.
The benefits that Intelsat EpicNG delivers to the maritime sector are numerous, measurable and soon to be available throughout the waters of the Asia Pacific. Make sure your vessel doesn’t leave port without access.