Following its successful launch in Europe earlier this year, IEC Telecom’s OneGate Marine Compact is now available in Asia allowing small and medium sized vessels, which represent close to 50 per cent of shipping traffic in the region, to enjoy connectivity at sea previously available only to larger vessels.
The fleet of small and medium-sized boats are currently underserved by the maritime communication sector. The existing VSAT terminals are unsuitable for use on these vessels due to size and high sensitivity to movements.
The smaller the vessel the more prone it is to vibration; under harsh weather conditions at sea, directive VSAT antennas would be unable to guarantee stable signals. Additionally, current solutions in the market require high capital investment and a long-term commitment, with a minimum of three-year service contracts.
Considering all the factors above, it becomes obvious that a small and medium sized vessel owner is placed at a disadvantage in adopting new technologies, causing them to lag behind bigger vessels in the digitalisation wave of the industry.
Acknowledging the pain points of this segment, IEC Telecom came up with OneGate Marine Compact to overcome the challenges faced by shipowners on technical specifications and cost. OneGate Marine Compact provides the solution to optimise L-band capacity bringing VSAT-like experience over Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) terminal.
Optimising the L-band will enable digitalisation for small and mid-sized vessels which will allow the hosting of applications enabling high bandwidth-consuming services such as telemedicine, video conferencing, crew management, crew welfare IoT and more.
Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO, Asia, Middle East and CIS at IEC Telecom, said: “When we started the development of OneGate Marine Compact a year ago, we could not have anticipated the upcoming pandemic, but its launch now comes at the right time.
“COVID-19 makes connectivity of paramount importance and surfaced many inherent weaknesses faced by the industry and new regulations, like port closure, can be imposed at any time. While large vessels are equipped with several channels of communication, most small and mid-sized vessels remain out of reach.
“Today, with the launch of OneGate Marine Compact, for the first time in the industry, digitalisation becomes possible and most importantly affordable to all maritime sectors, offered with flexible tariff plans and no long-term commitment. Besides, the new technology will enable maritime SMEs to use various telecom applications to optimise their business processes and increase operational efficiency, creating new opportunities and contributing to the regional GDP growth.”