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The expansion of cellular networks, terrestrial networks, satellite and coverage, and IP revolution in several regions has improved significantly. Ship owners, crew, managers, and officers need cost-effective communications that are easy to maintain, simple to operate, and function seamlessly around the world. Maritime VSAT facilitate real time internet broadband connectivity on a moving ship in sea for the convenience of these people.
The maritime VSAT market can be segmented on the basis of number of terminals, and technology. On the basis of the number of terminals, the global maritime VSAT market can be segmented into Ka-band, c-band, and Ku-band. On the basis of technology, the global maritime VSAT market can be divided into high throughput satellites (HTS), L-band, KU-band, and C-band.
Maritime VSAT is the use of satellite communication through a small aperture terminal on a moving ship in sea. VSAT stands for “very small terminal aperture”, while the term “very small” has been derived from the small sized antenna attached on roof tops, walls, or the ground. Very Small Terminal Apertures’ set up communication network, receive and transmit text, video, and audio data using satellite broadband connection services. A VSAT network includes chief hub and other sites situated at remote places, which establish communication with the satellite. There are some isolated areas, where wire-line connectivity is not possible. VSATs are capable of providing wireless internet connectivity in those areas. VSAT systems and applications use geostationary satellites that are located in the geostationary orbit above the height of 35,786 kilometers from equator.
The adoption of IP-based applications is a common trend witnessed in the global Maritime VSAT market. As organizations are turning into bigger enterprises and experiencing growth, the need for IP based applications for better management of logistics with real time reporting is also arising. The demand for IP based system has also increased, as commercial vessels need high-speed connections to track on-board business, maintaining applications and vessel management. Further, several vessel owners are providing on-board broadband connectivity and VoIP connectivity to retain their crew members. For example, the iDirect system involves a very efficient form of time division multiple access (TDMA), called multi-frequency (MF), which allows several ships to share the same inbound protocol capacity. This protocol is known for its dynamic nature, guarantees fast response time, and is designed to meet a variety of service level agreements (SLAs).
The need to reduce operational cost is one of the major growth drivers for the global maritime VSAT market. VSAT services help operators in the shipping industry to reduce their operational costs. Operators can control operational cost with the help of very small aperture terminal (VSAT), as it provides permanent monthly charges facility. The technical issues which occur on board act as challenge are hindering the growth of the global maritime VSAT market. The interruption of very small aperture terminal services due to rain fade is one of the major issues faced by maritime VSAT retailers these days. Rain fade involves the absorption of microwave radio frequency signals by rain drops, which causes an interruption in network connectivity.
EMC Satcom Technologies, Comtech Telecommunications Corp, MTN, Globecomm Systems, Harris CapRock, Hughes Network Systems LLC, Inmarsat PLC, ViaSat Inc., Eutelsat Communications, and Imtech, are some of the competitors in the global maritime VSAT market.