Use cases | 14 August 2017

Is expensive VSAT on ships being replaced by fast, low-cost LTE?

Batam 800x800
Ivan 4
Written by
Ivan Landen, CEO Global

While VSAT remains essential for open-sea connectivity, communication can be slow and expensive. That's why ships and other marine vessels are adding 4G/LTE connectivity, providing a low-cost, high-speed connectivity alternative that can be used up to 50 miles out from shore.

Below is a photo from a recent installation done at a vessel at Batam Island, Indonesia:


What are the key benefits and uses of 4G/LTE on ships and other marine vessels?

  • High-speed internet access
    As 4G/LTE signal is available in coastal waters, it allows direct connectivity to local networks without the latency and delay of global VSAT connections.
  • Backup to VSAT
    4G/LTE can be used as an off-load for non-critical data communications and also provides a backup to the VSAT connection.
  • Crew WiFi
    To provide the crew with connectivity to family and loved ones and internet access for leisure time, the 4G/LTE connection to shore can support up to 25 devices or more simultaneously.

Essential components to establish reliable 4G/LTE connectivity at sea:

  • IP-rated equipment
    Routers that are suitable for marine environments, such as the Cradlepoint IBR 900, which can handle up to 4 SIMs, are specially designed for harsh environments and provides ultra-reliable performance.
  • Omni-directional antennas
    On moving ships, high-gain omnidirectional antennas can maintain signal with LTE towers onshore, up to 50 miles or more from the coast.
  • Local SIMs
    Rather than using roaming, which is slow and expensive, Blue Wireless provides local SIMs and dataplans from multiple countries, ensuring a fast and low-cost connection.
  • Professional installation
    Ensuring all is properly designed, configured, and installed onboard.
  • Ongoing management
    With the cloud-based NetCloud management console, routers can be easily tracked, maintained, and managed remotely, ensuring optimal uptime.

Learn more

Blue Wireless can help with high-speed connectivity for marine environments. Speak to our specialist today and we're happy to provide a free consult.

Get STARLINK for your business today
Learn more about Global Managed LEO