IN NOVEMBER 2019, Inmarsat, global satellite communications provider, launched their fifth satellite with their Global Xpress (GX) technology. Specifically designed to improve bandwidth and connectivity over Europe and the Middle East, it supports the company’s Fleet Xpress service offering superyachts onboard broadband solutions for both crew operations and guest use.
“As data use and demand for vessel and crew applications continues to grow we are already seeing data volumes of more than 1 terabyte [1,000 gigabytes] per month per superyacht,” said Inmarsat Maritime President Ronald Spithout.
“The successful launch of GX5 heralds a major step forward in meeting that demand with capacity for customers in one of our main markets and the next step in Inmarsat’s unrivalled commitment to the future of maritime connectivity.”
The increased capacity was in part driven by the demand for streaming services and remote working as owners seek to explore without significant downtimes from work and other commitments regardless of their location.
Inmarsat advised data from its Fleet Xpress service, has seen peak usage of 860 GB per month on a single superyacht in 2020, and over 1.3 TB per month on a luxury charter yacht.
In the recently published Inmarsart Connectivity Survey 73 percent of yachts had intentions of cruising further than the usual Meditteranean and the Asia/Pacific region had increased in popularity.
Inmarsat has also announced there would be another seven GX satellites placed into orbit and commercial use by 2023, dramatically increasing the global support to superyachts for onboard broadband 76 degrees north and south of the equator.
At the same time, the company has forged distributor agreements with Sada Al Ammah and Global Beam Telecom along with licences in the country for their narrow-band (L-band) and high-capacity broadband (Ka-band). Saudi-based yachts will benefit from the GX satellite infrastructure in commercial operation as well as the in-country partners now delivering land and sea-based secure communications.