2019 was certainly a memorable year for everyone at e3, with a whole range of exciting product and service launches. With so much more to look forward to in the coming year, here’s what has been happening within the company to get you up to speed:
Enjoy peace of mind with Inmarsat
Founded in 1979, Inmarsat is one of e3’s long term connectivity partners and provides a number of premium products including Fleet Xpress and FleetBroadband - perfect for yachts which want to go off the beaten track yet require a stable, reliable connection - particularly where conventional services do not reach. Fleet Xpress comes with a range of excellent benefits, so it’s understandable that it is now the world’s fastest growing maritime VSAT service. In addition, the Ka-band service works with smaller terminals than traditional Ku-Band, reducing the weight on board by up to 200kg.
If you are intending to sail further afield, we recommend that you upgrade your FleetBroadband (FBB) subscription, especially if more intensive use is expected. With the low subscription FBB Standard Plan, out-of-bundle charges can soon add up, so save yourself the shock and upgrade to one of the more cost-effective monthly GB plans which can offer savings up to 99%.
The future of connectivity
Inmarsat also produce an annual Superyacht Connectivity Report which looks at VSAT and 4G trends within the industry by surveying a range of interested parties including captains, chief engineers and ETOs. The 2019 report examines the use of satcomms on board superyachts and reveals the future requirements of the superyacht market for global connectivity solutions.
The results make for a very interesting read. For example, although most vessels will spend at least some time in the Mediterranean, only 31.4% will remain for more than 75% of the year, leaving 68.6% of those surveyed with a clear intention to travel further afield. Mobility is even higher in the Asia/Pacific and US regions, with 81.5 and 80% respectively expecting to cruise elsewhere in the course of a year.
In line with the growing prevalence of digitalisation in the superyacht sector, the 2019 report findings provide evidence that VSAT connectivity usage is all set to surge over the next
five years. While 4G is still the most popular onboard communication system, satellite communications usage is growing, with 80% of respondents believing they will use VSAT for more than 50% of the time within five years.
Also set to change over the next five years is the predicted increase in demand for VSAT from IoT (Sensors and Applications) devices. Currently accounting for just 6.2%, this is set to increase to 24.7% of operational connectivity demand. Perhaps less surprisingly is that TV over IP streaming is another area where usage is expected to jump. While the 2018 report highlighted that TVIP and content streaming demands were considered somewhat secondary to various operational uses, the study now shows that respondents are fully aware that crew, owners and guests are becoming increasingly reliant on satcomms for their enjoyment.
The final point I want to mention is that of speed. According to the survey responses, an overwhelming majority of respondents feel that their current MIR upload speeds fall within the two slowest categories, namely less than 2Mbps (47.1%) and 2-8Mbps (41.2%). The remaining 11.8% believe their speed to between 8 and 24Mbps, with no respondents believing that their MIR speed exists within the 24-48Mbps range. However, even within the next year, respondents seem confident that their upload speeds will increase: nearly half believe that their MIR upload speed will be above 8Mbps.
This Inmarsat report can be downloaded at www2.inmarsat.com/superyacht-connectivity-report-2019
Free data offer
The Antigua Charter Show was e3’s final yacht event of 2019, and the US team reported good attendance with a lot of interest across the 4G and VSAT product ranges. In particular there were many enquiries about the latest VSAT offer, providing 800GB of free 4G data every month in the Med for customers who sign for a 12-month VSAT contract.
If you missed e3 in Antigua, simply contact them directly for more information on any of their products and services. To recap, for any customers sailing in the Caribbean region, e3 offers a number of 4G SIM options. You won’t find a more competitive single-SIM service than BIG DATA CARIBBEAN, which is now also valid in the US Virgin Islands. Don’t forget, it’s one SIM for the whole region with no SIM swapping necessary. If you happen to use the great value and flexible BIG DATA EUROPE SIM, remember it can also be used in the French Caribbean at no extra cost. Finally, the Bahamas-only 4G data service is ideal for those yachts sailing in the region – offering 125GB for only $350, the SIM is valid for 30 days. What’s more, each sale goes towards supporting YachtAid Global and their efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Dorian earlier this year.