Broadband at Sea – New Opportunities for Maritime VSAT
by Alan Gottlieb
Inmarsat’s new, Fleet Broadband services is facing never anticipated competition. Its huge investment in its i4 satellite system and its revenue stream are being challenged by the proliferation of Ku Band deep ocean coverage and new hybrid VSAT/L Band solutions as well as by Iridium’s new OpenPort service. For those merchant shipping users that demand high capacity broadband, typically large fleet owners, rising demand for fixed priced broadband is making Inmarsat’s “pay-by-the-byte” services unaffordable at high usage levels and price-challenged at low usage levels. OpenPortsm offers volume based 128 Kbs service will be available at a cost significantly lower than Inmarsat.