WITH THE CHARTER SEASON IN FULL SWING, HOW DO THE VSAT AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS COPE WITH THE NEED TO SERVE GUESTS AND OWNERS WITH COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF DATA? WORDS: ADAM FIANDER
With 5G already implemented in parts of the USA and with the help of working-parties and user groups, European 5G coverage gradually being introduced in ‘trial’ cities, it’s testament to the relentless demand and voracious appetite for faster, ever more sophisticated mobile connectivity.
Areas of society set to benefit greatly from 5G are numerous; pretty much all of us in fact. The world of media and entertainment, for example, is one of the more obvious areas. Others are the energy industry, the health industry and manufacturing where robotics, logistics and anywhere, in fact, where inter-business communication is required. The much talked about ‘driverless car technology’ will also rely upon 5G when the technology becomes available.
Just as shore-based needs are set to benefit, it’s much the same for yachts. During busy peak-periods on a large 30m or 40m+ yacht, it would not be unreasonable to assume that at least 12 data-hungry guests, and up to 20 or more hard-working crew, are expecting to receive instant, lag-free connectivity, uninterrupted telephoning, video-conferencing, almost continuous use of social-media, online gaming, use of cloud-based applications, HD TV and potentially all at the same time!
With that kind of demand in place, it’s good to know that cellular technology and land-based communications providers are very much part of the future framework for yacht connectivity moving forward. In fact, the yacht market now has a very good choice of both VSAT (very small aperture terminals) and land-based communication providers. All the companies I spoke to offer a sensible and logical ‘hybrid’ solution, switching between the two systems to maintain continuity, speed and reliability.
Satellite companies have brought about accelerated developments in progressive LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite technology, and High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and GEO satellite platforms, where impressive technology gains are being made.