Leverage Your Connectivity for Operational Benefits


Published Mar 16, 2020 3:45 PM by The Maritime VSAT Experts at KVH

Fast and reliable Internet connectivity has become a gateway for commercial vessels to gain a competitive edge and increase their operational efficiency. Vessels large and small are migrating from legacy L-band connectivity solutions to fast Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) services. Whether it is a tanker, container ship, or small fishing fleet, vessels and their operators increasingly rely on being connected, face new regulations that require real-time information and a truly connected ship, and find themselves with a growing need for flexibility in how they operate.

Making smart decisions about connectivity can enable your fleet to gain a competitive edge at sea. The best connectivity solutions feature a layered, global network that offers coverage and speed to meet operational and crew communication requirements, as well as smart data tools for transparency and control, a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, and embedded IoT functionality. Ease of installation and integration, together with on-call and in-port global services and 24/7/365 support, are also features of top connectivity solutions.

For shipowners, operators, and ship managers, one way to make a smart connectivity choice is to focus on a ship’s connectivity ecosystem. At the heart of today’s best performing connectivity ecosystems are VSAT services, which in recent years have disrupted the long-standing expectations of maritime satellite communications with smaller systems, faster speeds, and more affordable data. Compact VSAT antennas, such as those from KVH, deliver superior data speeds with lower costs and easier installation.

When planning to make the upgrade to VSAT or evaluating a replacement VSAT solution, fleets need to consider how to not only get their vessels connected, but also connected smartly. Connectivity is about moving data from ship to shore and vice versa, so any ecosystem has to have the right data tools at its core. For shipowners, this is a primary concern, and the ability to provide appropriate and necessary data flows are as much a part of modern vessel operations as bunkers and manning.

A connectivity ecosystem from a single provider, such as AgilePlans® by KVH, leads to real productivity benefits, whether a vessel stays in one part of the world and prefers KVH’s new AgilePlans Regional service using the 37 cm TracPhone® V3-HTS, or is part of a world-voyaging fleet that needs KVH’s AgilePlans Global service using the 60 cm TracPhone V7-HTS and the 1 meter TracPhone V11-HTS.

As the pace of maritime digitalization accelerates, KVH is ensuring that commercial vessels of all sizes can take advantage of the all-inclusive, no-commitment AgilePlans solutions to bring fast and reliable connectivity onboard with no capex outlay.

Ultimately, to ensure a fleet has what it needs to stay competitive, ship operators benefit from understanding the key elements of a smart connectivity solution − satellite coverage and data speeds, data tools, cybersecurity, hardware integration, crew welfare, and global service and support. With that knowledge, they can be sure they are making smart and informed decisions to gain a competitive advantage.

Download this e-Book to learn about the critical considerations to choosing connectivity.

This article is sponsored by KVH AgilePlans®.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.