Commercial maritime vessels are among the most challenging industrial platforms on Earth. As they transit far-flung sea lanes, the planet’s most unforgiving environment, owners and operators must take care to establish and maintain consistent onboard, business-critical communications.
With SATCOM technology constantly improving, what was once used only for vital vessel operations is now expected to do more and support more. This expanded scope encompasses everything from voyage optimization and the Internet of Things (IoT) to crew communications, entertainment, and training.
Fortunately, modern SATCOM technology is affordable and fast enough to satisfy these and other emerging applications. However, it takes more than merely ensuring that your vessel is connected. It’s seeing to it that your vessel is connected intelligently. In other words, when selecting a communications system that best meets your fleet’s unique connectivity needs, you’ll want to explore the available options for:
- Hardware performance, size, and capabilities
- Satellite network coverage, speeds, and reliability
- Airtime plans
- Data speeds
- Crew wellbeing content and connectivity
But price can be a tricky item to assess due to the many contributors to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Are you taking into account such elements as:
- The costs for all necessary hardware – antenna, LNB, BUC, cables, and modem
- Installation time and cost as crew can often assist with cable run and steel work while bigger, heavier antennas require more structural support, potentially cranes, and bigger pedestals
- The breadth of potential airtime costs and fees that might be missed in your first look, such as early termination fees, VoIP termination fees, data overage charges, and monthly invoicing fees
- And finally, what’s it going to cost to provide service and support for the SATCOM system, including hardware warranties, the cost and availability of remote support, spare parts, travel costs, onboard labor hours, annual services checks, and extra insurances
A new eBook, “Four Critical Considerations for Global Service and Support,” examines the questions to ask when you begin to look “under the hood” at the options, what you should expect when it comes to service and support for your chosen SATCOM solution, and insights from four industry leaders in global service strategy, technical support, field service, and airtime service.