Marine Satellite Solutions
Canada Satellite offers an abundance in choice for marine satellite Internet solutions. It’s a bit more expensive using satellite services compared to terrestrial-based networks but when you’re far out of reach from civilization, then satellite is your only lifeline.
International Maritime Law certifies sea vessels over 300 gross tonnage and all cruise liners as SOLAS vessels (Safety of Life at Sea) that need to comply with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which involves more than just having a marine satellite phone. The GMDSS is a system of procedures, equipment, and communication protocols to maximize safety while at sea and facilitate an easier rescue if required.
How Satellite Providers Help
Inmarsat and Iridium satellite providers both support the GMDSS. Their systems and devices are used for satellite communication and distress signaling for SOLAS and non-SOLAS vessels. The cost in getting your own satellite unit depends exclusively on how you intend to use it.
High or Low Data Usage
But satellite can offer more than just emergency communication. If you need marine satellite TV, radio, or high bandwidth Internet services, then you’ll need to find the right equipment, device and service plan best suited to you.
All satellite devices that connect to different satellite networks come with postpaid and prepaid minutes and data service plans. So, before choosing a satellite unit and plan, consider your expected consumption of data and voice.
If you’re going to use basic email access, view small web pages, and download weather files, then the entry level range of units are less expensive yet effective for satellite communication at sea. The Beam Oceana 400 Maritime for voice and data, and the Cobham SAILOR Fleet One device provide IP data up to 100kbps and are affordable units meeting low data usage needs.
High data usage usually involved a lot of web browsing, streaming services like Skype or YouTube, some VoIP services, and big file downloads. Plus, if you have multiple devices connected that are accessing data services, the utilization of data will be considerably high.
Marine Satellite Terminals
The range of marine satellite terminals offer services beyond limited calling and data. With high-tech advancements, you can access Internet and TV services while crossing the South Pacific. So, knowing your requirements for high content services will guide you in choosing the most suitable satellite equipment.
Fixed and mobile antenna solutions provide broadband capabilities, like the Iridium Pilot, which is one of the less expensive units for marine satellite internet. Inmarsat FleetBroadband is at the upper end for high usage volumes and commonly used on cruisers and commercial vessels.
KVH satellite systems for marine use provides quality digital TV channels for everyone onboard. The TracVision TV series comes in different sized antennas for big or small vessels, offering KVH marine satellite TV globally. The TracVision HD series provides access to satellite TV providers like DIRECTV and Bell TV.