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Marlink Remains Largest Retail VSAT Service Provider in 2019

In Valour Consultancy’s latest maritime connectivity report, The Future of Maritime Connectivity – 2020 edition, Marlink Group remained the largest retail service provider for VSAT communication services in 2019. The global service provider increased its revenue market share from 23.1 per cent in 2018, to 23.9 per cent in 2019. 

Marlink has proactive approach to customer service ensuring all its clients and their vessels are functioning at an optimal performance. This has been a particularly poignant matter during the COVID-19 pandemic with large numbers of merchant seafarers stranded at sea away from their friends and families. In addition, the company’s history in the maritime market and strength across all the applications at the firm has also aided its mission of staying at the top of the VSAT retail market. Valour Consultancy estimates that Marlink had more than seven thousand vessels subscribed to its SeaLink VSAT service today. 

Valour Consultancy ranked Speedcast second in the retail VSAT market in 2019. Like Marlink, the company also increased its market share from 2018 primarily due to its acquisition of Globecomm. However, the firm has gone through some financial turmoil recently, filing for Chapter 11 in April 2020 and it will be interesting to see how it will perform in the next 12 months. 

Inmarsat continues to play a strong dual role in the market, providing wholesale MSS and VSAT satellite capacity to its value added resellers (service providers) and also serving some key customers directly. The firm, purchased by a private equity consortium in 2019, has done a good job of switching its large existing MSS customer base to its FX VSAT offerings whilst also getting its VARS to commit to fulfilling a number of vessels on its FX services. An example of this is demonstrated by Inmarsat’s strong relationship with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), one of Japan’s largest shipping companies, who announced they plan to continue the roll out of FX across the remainder of all its owned and managed vessels  

Another notable maritime connectivity player has been KVH Industries. The firm has performed exceedingly well with its Agile Plans VSAT leasing service and reported shipping more than 10,000 VSAT antennas cumulatively earlier this year. Note this is across all mobility and land verticals. Nevertheless, its strength does reside within maritime and the firm has recently introduced its successful leasing plan to leisure market customers, opening up a significant number of vessels for new business. 

Unfortunately, Global Eagle has suffered somewhat over recent years and its market share dropped from 10 per cent in 2018 to less than 8 per cent in 2019. This is as a result of having lost a number of key passenger and offshore energy clients to other service providers in recent years. 

Valour Consultancy’s take on the retail VSAT maritime connectivity standings in 2019: 

Looking Forward 

According to the IMF in its June 2020 outlook update  – “Global growth is projected to decline by  –4.9 per cent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 per cent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6.5 percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s 

Valour Consultancy anticipates glass half full perspective. Yes, passenger and offshore energy markets have been decimated by the fear of the pandemic, travel restrictions and the unknown of what is nextNonetheless, other markets have remained less affected, if not up from 2019. The effect of having so many seafarers in the merchant market stranded at sea has been to increase crew welfare video, messaging and telephone communication usage over the last six months. Some of the super wealthy have also seconded themselves on their private superyachts for the period. In addition, the demand for overall food produce such as seafood has remained stable and the market is likely to remain steady over the year. There are many notable pain points in maritime satellite connectivity right now but also a few good ones. Our maritime connectivity report will be providing an October update on 2020 and new projections for 2021 onwards. For more information please click here 

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In addition, the company’s history in the maritime market and strength across all the applications at the firm has also aided its mission of staying at the top of the VSAT retail market. Valour Consultancy estimates that Marlink had more than seven thousand vessels subscribed to its SeaLink VSAT service today.  Valour Consultancy ranked Speedcast second in the retail VSAT market in 2019. Like Marlink, the company also increased its market share from 2018 primarily due to its acquisition of Globecomm. However, the firm has gone through some financial turmoil recently, filing for Chapter 11 in April 2020 and it will be interesting to see how it will perform in the next 12 months.  Inmarsat continues to play a strong dual role in the market, providing wholesale MSS and VSAT satellite capacity to its value added resellers (service providers) and also serving some key customers directly. The firm, purchased by a private equity consortium in 2019, has done a good job of switching its large existing MSS customer base to its FX VSAT offerings whilst also getting its VARS to commit to fulfilling a number of vessels on its FX services. An example of this is demonstrated by Inmarsat’s strong relationship with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), one of Japan’s largest shipping companies, who announced they plan to continue the roll out of FX across the remainder of all its owned and managed vessels   Another notable maritime connectivity player has been KVH Industries. The firm has performed exceedingly well with its Agile Plans VSAT leasing service and reported shipping more than 10,000 VSAT antennas cumulatively earlier this year. Note this is across all mobility and land verticals. Nevertheless, its strength does reside within maritime and the firm has recently introduced its successful leasing plan to leisure market customers, opening up a significant number of vessels for new business.  Unfortunately, Global Eagle has suffered somewhat over recent years and its market share dropped from 10 per cent in 2018 to less than 8 per cent in 2019. This is as a result of having lost a number of key passenger and offshore energy clients to other service providers in recent years.  Valour Consultancy’s take on the retail VSAT maritime connectivity standings in 2019:  Looking Forward  According to the IMF in its June 2020 outlook update  - “Global growth is projected to decline by  –4.9 per cent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a more negative impact on activity in the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is projected to be more gradual than previously forecast. In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4 per cent. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6.5 percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020. The adverse impact on low-income households is particularly acute, imperiling the significant progress made in reducing extreme poverty in the world since the 1990s  Valour Consultancy anticipates glass half full perspective. Yes, passenger and offshore energy markets have been decimated by the fear of the pandemic, travel restrictions and the unknown of what is nextNonetheless, other markets have remained less affected, if not up from 2019. The effect of having so many seafarers in the merchant market stranded at sea has been to increase crew welfare video, messaging and telephone communication usage over the last six months. Some of the super wealthy have also seconded themselves on their private superyachts for the period. In addition, the demand for overall food produce such as seafood has remained stable and the market is likely to remain steady over the year. There are many notable pain points in maritime satellite connectivity right now but also a few good ones. Our maritime connectivity report will be providing an October update on 2020 and new projections for 2021 onwards. For more information please click here  [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

The Battle for Business Jet Connectivity Supremacy

2019 was an exciting year in terms of new in-flight connectivity options for the business aviation market and in this article, we ponder whether the increased number of players each now offering a plethora of solutions can really be sustained longer term.

Historically, provision of wholesale cabin connectivity services for VIP and business aircraft has been dominated by four companies: Gogo, Viasat, Inmarsat and Iridium. Gogo now counts some 5,500 business aircraft on its air-to-ground (ATG) network, while Viasat lays claim to more than 1,100 cumulative shipments of its Ku-band system over the last decade. On the L-band side, Inmarsat and Iridium account for the bulk of the market and have done for some time. The former has built an enviable base of almost 4,000 aircraft that rely on its hugely-successful SwiftBroadband (SBB) service and over 600 using the Jet ConneX (JX) Ka-band solution. And with 10,000 aircraft installed with its services today, the latter estimates there’s a 90% chance a business jet will be using its voice services to power in-flight phone operations.

All this could be about to change, however. Over the last couple of years, a clutch of new entrants has emerged, presumably attracted by the higher margins on offer compared with the commercial aviation market. Global Eagle and Panasonic Avionics, for example, announced in 2015, their intent to target the bizliner and bizjet markets, respectively. While Global Eagle still harbours an ambition to pursue opportunities in the VVIP space through its ultra-high end PRIVA brand, Panasonic has stepped back and is concentrating solely on its role in IDAIR, a joint-venture with Lufthansa Technik.

Panasonic’s place in partnership with Astronics and Satcom Direct has since been taken by Intelsat and the trio launched FlexExec in October 2018. Installs have been temporarily suspended after the loss of the Intelsat-29e satellite, although expectations are that the service will re-launch in the early part of 2020. Until then, SES and Collins Aerospace will doubtless be looking to make hay with their new, rival Ku-band offering, LuxStream. Further down the line, OneWeb has vowed to revolutionise the connectivity market with a low-latency solution available for fitment on the lightest of bizjets that it plans to have available in the 2021/2022 timeframe.

Away from satellite-based connectivity, SmartSky Networks is in the final stages of completing its ATG network with entry-into-service and full CONUS coverage slated for 2020. Hardware is already installed on several business aircraft, including Embraer ERJs for launch customer, JSX. Rival, Gogo, as is the case with the other aforementioned players currently dominant, is not content to rest on its laurels and plans to launch an upgraded 5G ATG network the following year. Speculation persists that Gogo is also working with Gilat for its Ku-band tail-mount antenna. If true, such a solution would pit the company against Intelsat, SES and Viasat and allow it to address those business jets that travel internationally and that aren’t candidates for its bulkier fuselage mount 2Ku antenna.

Viasat hasn’t given up on its legacy Ku-band network and this year revealed new “Ku Advanced” packages with increased speeds of up to 10 Mbps and an easy migration path to its newer Ka-band system through use of existing aircraft wiring. Ka-band, of course, being a focus of Inmarsat, too. Despite its considerable early lead in this arena, the company continues to add capacity to the Global Xpress (GX) constellation. Inmarsat also has its eyes on supporting shorter intra-European flights having previously announced that the European Aviation Network (EAN) would be available for business aviation in “early 2019”, although timelines would appear to have slipped.

Last but by no means least is Iridium, which is seeking to tap into the increasing demand for backup communications systems with the recently-launched Certus solution. Due to its compact nature, Certus is also expected to find a place as a primary connectivity system on smaller aircraft for “lite connectivity” applications like in-flight messaging. As well as converting its existing customer base to Certus, Iridium will set its sights on capturing market share from L-band counterpart, Inmarsat.

But what’s so appealing about the bizav market that all these players with their many offerings are so intent on vying for a slice of the pie? As mentioned, margins in business aviation relative to air transport are much higher and while there is, surprisingly, a degree of price sensitivity around up-front equipment costs and on-going airtime fees, there is a willingness to pay for a good quality and reliable connectivity experience. Indeed, during the course of the research for our soon to publish study on the adoption of connectivity in this market, a common theme among interviewees was that non-functioning cabin connectivity is often cause to keep an aircraft on the ground. And it’s this level of heightened expectation that could make or break the prospects of those less familiar with having to provide a white glove service.

Simply put, business aviation is a very high touch market and connectivity providers need to cater to the specific demands of those operating no more than a handful of aircraft. A connectivity service needs to tie into the overall theme of making each aircraft or fleet of aircraft unique – something demonstrated by the fact interiors are often completely custom-crafted to match the exacting tastes of owners. Commercial aviation, on the other hand, is a higher volume market where low margin off-the-shelf products (premium cabin seats aside) are the order of the day. And as far as connectivity business models are concerned, airlines and their service providers have frankly struggled for years to make the paid-for approach work. For this reason, the likes of Intelsat and SES have been wise to partner with well-respected industry stalwarts like Satcom Direct and Collins Aerospace.

Though it’s impossible to say who will thrive and who might fall by the wayside in the battle for supremacy, it’s fair to say that we can most probably expect some level of consolidation in the market in the mid- to longer-term. We must remember that there is only a limited number of business aircraft that are viable candidates for many of the services being proposed. For fuselage mount solutions, there are around 500 bizliners that are large enough to accommodate large, bulky radomes. There are currently circa 6,500 large cabin jets and these – plus an extra 2,500 that are set to be added to the fleet over the next ten years – will be the prime target given that most can take a bullet-like tail radome but are not yet fitted with high-bandwidth Ku- or Ka-band connectivity. Beyond this, most of the remaining 16,000 super-midsize, midsize, light and very light business jets and a similar number of turboprops are only really suited to much less invasive ATG and L-band terminals.

A game changer will be the maturity of flat panel antenna technology, which has the potential to open up the total addressable market for high capacity satellite-based connectivity to much smaller airframes. A whole host of companies are currently working on solutions that aim to do just this but industry consensus is that we’re still several years away from market-ready products that overcome current challenges around power consumption, heat dissipation and cost. That being said, there will always be a significant chunk of smaller aircraft that never leave CONUS or Europe and are arguably most suited to an ATG solution. In this regard, the bases look well covered by Gogo, SmartSky and Inmarsat.

With all this in mind, it seems like a stretch to imagine that the bizav market can support so many different solutions. Those with ambitions to stay relevant in the long term need to ensure that they are best in class and not pursue an unwinnable race to the bottom on price, especially if it comes at the expense of a good quality experience. Anything less simply won’t be tolerated.

The competitive environment, market trends and the likely future adoption of connectivity in this space is explored in great depth in Valour Consultancy’s forthcoming report entitled “The Market for IFEC and CMS Systems on VVIP and Business Aircraftdue to publish in Q1 2020.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="5197|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]https://valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/airplane-4702807_1280.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="none" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="default" rule_size="" rule_color="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""] 2019 was an exciting year in terms of new in-flight connectivity options for the business aviation market and in this article, we ponder whether the increased number of players each now offering a plethora of solutions can really be sustained longer term. Historically, provision of wholesale cabin connectivity services for VIP and business aircraft has been dominated by four companies: Gogo, Viasat, Inmarsat and Iridium. Gogo now counts some 5,500 business aircraft on its air-to-ground (ATG) network, while Viasat lays claim to more than 1,100 cumulative shipments of its Ku-band system over the last decade. On the L-band side, Inmarsat and Iridium account for the bulk of the market and have done for some time. The former has built an enviable base of almost 4,000 aircraft that rely on its hugely-successful SwiftBroadband (SBB) service and over 600 using the Jet ConneX (JX) Ka-band solution. And with 10,000 aircraft installed with its services today, the latter estimates there's a 90% chance a business jet will be using its voice services to power in-flight phone operations. All this could be about to change, however. Over the last couple of years, a clutch of new entrants has emerged, presumably attracted by the higher margins on offer compared with the commercial aviation market. Global Eagle and Panasonic Avionics, for example, announced in 2015, their intent to target the bizliner and bizjet markets, respectively. While Global Eagle still harbours an ambition to pursue opportunities in the VVIP space through its ultra-high end PRIVA brand, Panasonic has stepped back and is concentrating solely on its role in IDAIR, a joint-venture with Lufthansa Technik. Panasonic’s place in partnership with Astronics and Satcom Direct has since been taken by Intelsat and the trio launched FlexExec in October 2018. Installs have been temporarily suspended after the loss of the Intelsat-29e satellite, although expectations are that the service will re-launch in the early part of 2020. Until then, SES and Collins Aerospace will doubtless be looking to make hay with their new, rival Ku-band offering, LuxStream. Further down the line, OneWeb has vowed to revolutionise the connectivity market with a low-latency solution available for fitment on the lightest of bizjets that it plans to have available in the 2021/2022 timeframe. Away from satellite-based connectivity, SmartSky Networks is in the final stages of completing its ATG network with entry-into-service and full CONUS coverage slated for 2020. Hardware is already installed on several business aircraft, including Embraer ERJs for launch customer, JSX. Rival, Gogo, as is the case with the other aforementioned players currently dominant, is not content to rest on its laurels and plans to launch an upgraded 5G ATG network the following year. Speculation persists that Gogo is also working with Gilat for its Ku-band tail-mount antenna. If true, such a solution would pit the company against Intelsat, SES and Viasat and allow it to address those business jets that travel internationally and that aren’t candidates for its bulkier fuselage mount 2Ku antenna. Viasat hasn’t given up on its legacy Ku-band network and this year revealed new “Ku Advanced” packages with increased speeds of up to 10 Mbps and an easy migration path to its newer Ka-band system through use of existing aircraft wiring. Ka-band, of course, being a focus of Inmarsat, too. Despite its considerable early lead in this arena, the company continues to add capacity to the Global Xpress (GX) constellation. Inmarsat also has its eyes on supporting shorter intra-European flights having previously announced that the European Aviation Network (EAN) would be available for business aviation in “early 2019”, although timelines would appear to have slipped. Last but by no means least is Iridium, which is seeking to tap into the increasing demand for backup communications systems with the recently-launched Certus solution. Due to its compact nature, Certus is also expected to find a place as a primary connectivity system on smaller aircraft for “lite connectivity” applications like in-flight messaging. As well as converting its existing customer base to Certus, Iridium will set its sights on capturing market share from L-band counterpart, Inmarsat. But what’s so appealing about the bizav market that all these players with their many offerings are so intent on vying for a slice of the pie? As mentioned, margins in business aviation relative to air transport are much higher and while there is, surprisingly, a degree of price sensitivity around up-front equipment costs and on-going airtime fees, there is a willingness to pay for a good quality and reliable connectivity experience. Indeed, during the course of the research for our soon to publish study on the adoption of connectivity in this market, a common theme among interviewees was that non-functioning cabin connectivity is often cause to keep an aircraft on the ground. And it’s this level of heightened expectation that could make or break the prospects of those less familiar with having to provide a white glove service. Simply put, business aviation is a very high touch market and connectivity providers need to cater to the specific demands of those operating no more than a handful of aircraft. A connectivity service needs to tie into the overall theme of making each aircraft or fleet of aircraft unique – something demonstrated by the fact interiors are often completely custom-crafted to match the exacting tastes of owners. Commercial aviation, on the other hand, is a higher volume market where low margin off-the-shelf products (premium cabin seats aside) are the order of the day. And as far as connectivity business models are concerned, airlines and their service providers have frankly struggled for years to make the paid-for approach work. For this reason, the likes of Intelsat and SES have been wise to partner with well-respected industry stalwarts like Satcom Direct and Collins Aerospace. Though it’s impossible to say who will thrive and who might fall by the wayside in the battle for supremacy, it’s fair to say that we can most probably expect some level of consolidation in the market in the mid- to longer-term. We must remember that there is only a limited number of business aircraft that are viable candidates for many of the services being proposed. For fuselage mount solutions, there are around 500 bizliners that are large enough to accommodate large, bulky radomes. There are currently circa 6,500 large cabin jets and these – plus an extra 2,500 that are set to be added to the fleet over the next ten years – will be the prime target given that most can take a bullet-like tail radome but are not yet fitted with high-bandwidth Ku- or Ka-band connectivity. Beyond this, most of the remaining 16,000 super-midsize, midsize, light and very light business jets and a similar number of turboprops are only really suited to much less invasive ATG and L-band terminals. A game changer will be the maturity of flat panel antenna technology, which has the potential to open up the total addressable market for high capacity satellite-based connectivity to much smaller airframes. A whole host of companies are currently working on solutions that aim to do just this but industry consensus is that we’re still several years away from market-ready products that overcome current challenges around power consumption, heat dissipation and cost. That being said, there will always be a significant chunk of smaller aircraft that never leave CONUS or Europe and are arguably most suited to an ATG solution. In this regard, the bases look well covered by Gogo, SmartSky and Inmarsat. With all this in mind, it seems like a stretch to imagine that the bizav market can support so many different solutions. Those with ambitions to stay relevant in the long term need to ensure that they are best in class and not pursue an unwinnable race to the bottom on price, especially if it comes at the expense of a good quality experience. Anything less simply won’t be tolerated. The competitive environment, market trends and the likely future adoption of connectivity in this space is explored in great depth in Valour Consultancy’s forthcoming report entitled “The Market for IFEC and CMS Systems on VVIP and Business Aircraftdue to publish in Q1 2020. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Apax Vobiscum

Inmarsat started off in 1979 as the International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), a non-profit intergovernmental organisation created to establish and operate a satellite communications network for maritime use. They were funded by a group of 28 mainly maritime nations. In 1999, this rose to 86 countries and at the same time the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was introduced which allows safety, distress, navigation and weather broadcasts to be sent and received by any vessel – this is quite a convoluted history and not to be described here. Inmarsat and its array of geostationary orbit satellites took care of this.

In the mid to late 1990s, funding for new satellites became an issue. The original satellites used had been launched by the US Navy and by the European Space Agency (ESA). The life expectancy of a satellite in geostationary orbit is almost the same as for a domestic fridge/freezer, about 15-17 years, so a regular input of a large amount of capital is required. In 1998, it was agreed that Inmarsat would be ‘privatised’ although obligations for maintaining the system for public (maritime and avionic) safety were imposed. Inmarsat was the first international satellite organisation to be privatised. Originally it was owned as a private company by the signatory governments but APAX and Permira (both global investment firms) bought a majority stake in 2003 before floating it in 2005. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005

Since then Inmarsat has had its ups and downs. It was added to the FTSE 100 in 2008 and deleted in 2011, in again in 2015 and out again in 2016. In mid-2018, a rival satellite operator put in a bid to buy Inmarsat for 532p per share but that fell through. It was revealed this week that a consortium led by APAX is considering a bid for the company offering 550p per share, valuing the company at roughly £2.5 billion (US$3.3 billion).

What are the upsides of such an acquisition?

APAX is familiar with the business as they took Inmarsat public initially and have had stakes in Intelsat, Vizada (ex France Télécom Mobile Satellite Communications) and Telenor. Its French partner currently owns Marlink, the world’s largest maritime supplier of satellite communications including Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) services. Conveniently, it is one of Inmarsat’s biggest customers. Given Inmarsat’s already established penchant for vertical integration, this would doubtless be a boon.

A benefit of private ownership is the increase in focus as the ‘owners’ have more skin in the game and there is considerably less barracking from disgruntled shareholders should there be a blip in progress. Private companies can make decisions far more quickly than publically listed companies and, in general, are far more efficient. Inmarsat has acquired a number of down-stream service suppliers to the maritime industry that could be consolidated into a more dynamic supply force, bearing in mind that the UK Monopolies Commission (or any other country’s regulatory body) may have reservations about the reduction in competition.

A study in 2015 (Private versus public corporate ownership: Implications for future profitability – Kristian D. Allee – Assistant Professor University of Wisconsin, Brad A. Badertscher – Associate Professor University of Notre Dame and Teri Lombardi Yohn – Professor Indiana University) concluded that private companies are more profitable which they attribute to short-term focus in publicly-listed companies that have dividends and consistent profits to worry about.

This brings out another upside which is the ability of a privately held company to seriously consider long-term strategy goals. Changes in technology and the weathering (yes, space-weathering is a thing) means that Inmarsat has to have a rolling program for satellite upgrades and replacement and most programs range around 10-15 years long. Should the idea of an Internet in space (which Valour Consultancy particularly admires) become popular and competitors, or even Inmarsat, initiate a synergy between Geo-Stationary satellite and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) networks, then, as a private company, Inmarsat can quickly join in.

What are the downsides of such an acquisition?

Because Inmarsat is in the top 250 companies in the UK, raising capital for future investment should not be too much of a problem but it is considerably easier for a publicly listed company to arrange external finance than it is for private company, even one backed by such a large consortium of wealthy players.
In Inmarsat’s case company valuation and profile are not really an issue but being owned by a consortium of investment companies and pension funds does bring its own risks. No matter how much they may claim that their strategy is long-term, the nature of such beasts can be fickle. APAX has experience in the industry but also has experience in selling such companies on.

Finally there is the thorny issue of obligation and regulation. Inmarsat provides GMDSS services and these cannot be allowed to fail. If, for some reason, as a private company, Inmarsat was to run into trouble, then political entities would have to step in to save it and that always causes a backlash from the general public. Or another satellite company beginning with I would see some significant upsides.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4849|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="none" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Inmarsat-min-1024x768-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text]Inmarsat started off in 1979 as the International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), a non-profit intergovernmental organisation created to establish and operate a satellite communications network for maritime use. They were funded by a group of 28 mainly maritime nations. In 1999, this rose to 86 countries and at the same time the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) was introduced which allows safety, distress, navigation and weather broadcasts to be sent and received by any vessel – this is quite a convoluted history and not to be described here. Inmarsat and its array of geostationary orbit satellites took care of this. In the mid to late 1990s, funding for new satellites became an issue. The original satellites used had been launched by the US Navy and by the European Space Agency (ESA). The life expectancy of a satellite in geostationary orbit is almost the same as for a domestic fridge/freezer, about 15-17 years, so a regular input of a large amount of capital is required. In 1998, it was agreed that Inmarsat would be ‘privatised’ although obligations for maintaining the system for public (maritime and avionic) safety were imposed. Inmarsat was the first international satellite organisation to be privatised. Originally it was owned as a private company by the signatory governments but APAX and Permira (both global investment firms) bought a majority stake in 2003 before floating it in 2005. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005 Since then Inmarsat has had its ups and downs. It was added to the FTSE 100 in 2008 and deleted in 2011, in again in 2015 and out again in 2016. In mid-2018, a rival satellite operator put in a bid to buy Inmarsat for 532p per share but that fell through. It was revealed this week that a consortium led by APAX is considering a bid for the company offering 550p per share, valuing the company at roughly £2.5 billion (US$3.3 billion). What are the upsides of such an acquisition? APAX is familiar with the business as they took Inmarsat public initially and have had stakes in Intelsat, Vizada (ex France Télécom Mobile Satellite Communications) and Telenor. Its French partner currently owns Marlink, the world’s largest maritime supplier of satellite communications including Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) services. Conveniently, it is one of Inmarsat’s biggest customers. Given Inmarsat’s already established penchant for vertical integration, this would doubtless be a boon. A benefit of private ownership is the increase in focus as the ‘owners’ have more skin in the game and there is considerably less barracking from disgruntled shareholders should there be a blip in progress. Private companies can make decisions far more quickly than publically listed companies and, in general, are far more efficient. Inmarsat has acquired a number of down-stream service suppliers to the maritime industry that could be consolidated into a more dynamic supply force, bearing in mind that the UK Monopolies Commission (or any other country’s regulatory body) may have reservations about the reduction in competition. A study in 2015 (Private versus public corporate ownership: Implications for future profitability – Kristian D. Allee - Assistant Professor University of Wisconsin, Brad A. Badertscher - Associate Professor University of Notre Dame and Teri Lombardi Yohn - Professor Indiana University) concluded that private companies are more profitable which they attribute to short-term focus in publicly-listed companies that have dividends and consistent profits to worry about. This brings out another upside which is the ability of a privately held company to seriously consider long-term strategy goals. Changes in technology and the weathering (yes, space-weathering is a thing) means that Inmarsat has to have a rolling program for satellite upgrades and replacement and most programs range around 10-15 years long. Should the idea of an Internet in space (which Valour Consultancy particularly admires) become popular and competitors, or even Inmarsat, initiate a synergy between Geo-Stationary satellite and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) networks, then, as a private company, Inmarsat can quickly join in. What are the downsides of such an acquisition? Because Inmarsat is in the top 250 companies in the UK, raising capital for future investment should not be too much of a problem but it is considerably easier for a publicly listed company to arrange external finance than it is for private company, even one backed by such a large consortium of wealthy players. In Inmarsat’s case company valuation and profile are not really an issue but being owned by a consortium of investment companies and pension funds does bring its own risks. No matter how much they may claim that their strategy is long-term, the nature of such beasts can be fickle. APAX has experience in the industry but also has experience in selling such companies on. Finally there is the thorny issue of obligation and regulation. Inmarsat provides GMDSS services and these cannot be allowed to fail. If, for some reason, as a private company, Inmarsat was to run into trouble, then political entities would have to step in to save it and that always causes a backlash from the general public. Or another satellite company beginning with I would see some significant upsides.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Maritime Service Provider Connectivity Rankings in 2017

In Valour Consultancy’s latest maritime connectivity report, “The Future of Maritime Connectivity – 2018 Edition”. It is estimated that, globally, there were over 262,500 active maritime satellite terminals (VSAT and L-band) by the end of 2017. This equated to a satellite connectivity retail market worth over $1.5 billion.

The number of VSAT terminals were estimated to account for just nine per cent of the global subscriber base in 2017, but associated revenues accounted for more than $1 billion, or 68 per cent of total revenues. L-band connectivity services generated $504 million in the same period.

A key question asked by many people in the industry is “How Did the Key Players Perform in 2017?”

Summary of 2017

  • Marlink made significant progress in the maritime connectivity market, winning many of the tenders it participated in. The firm was the largest supplier of retail maritime satellite services in 2017, with associated revenues of $340 million. It is believed 70 per cent of the top 50 merchant shipping companies subscribe to its services.
  • Speedcast completed the purchase of Harris Caprock in 2017 and will likely complete the acquisition of Globecomm before the end of 2018. The firm will become the second largest supplier of retail connectivity in 2018.
  • Inmarsat plays a prominent role in the maritime market and generated more than $564.7 million in the market overall – both through its wholesale and retail offerings in 2017. Valour Consultancy estimates the British satellite firm derived more than $200 million of revenues via direct channels in 2017.
  • Global Eagle continues to make steady progress in the industry, with its primary focus on passenger and leisure vessels. In July 2017, the firm introduced a new luxury brand called PRIVA, which replaces the legacy MTN brand that operated its yacht connectivity business.
  • Navarino had deployed 6,000 of its Infinity boxes (which support L-band and VSAT services) at the end of 2017, 60 per cent of which are served directly by Navarino. The firm also uses third-party maritime service providers for the remainder of its business. The firm held fifth position in the global maritime service provider market and accounted for 6 per cent of market revenues.

Deep-Dive

Marlink was the largest supplier of retail maritime satellite services in 2017, representing 22 per cent of global maritime service revenues. More than 65 per cent of the firm’s revenues were derived from VSAT connectivity services, and the remainder for L-band services; making Marlink the second largest global L-band reseller in the market in 2017.

The firm has enjoyed an enormously successful period in the merchant shipping sector, with more than 50 per cent of its business originating from this sector. Marlink caters connectivity solutions to more than 20,000 terminals. globally. In addition, the group has made several astute company acquisitions over the years, which include Telemar, Palantir, Livewire Connections and OmniAccess, all of which operate under the umbrella Marlink Group.

Inmarsat plays a dual role in the maritime market, one as a service provider serving customers directly and the other as a satellite operator, providing wholesale Ka-band and L-band capacity to service providers, as well as some Ku-band (legacy business). As a direct service provider, Inmarsat generated more than $200 million in 2017, accounting for 13 per cent of total revenues. The majority of the firm’s maritime revenues are derived from its L-band business; with its Fleetbroadband service generating slightly under $350 million in 2017. Its direct retail VSAT business generated more than $55 million in 2017. This will change significantly over the next few years as companies likes Navarino, Speedcast, Marlink and other service providers complete on their pledges to convert their existing L-band and Ku-band vessels to FX. Merchant, energy and fishing were Inmarsat’s largest applications in respective order of revenues.

The rise of Speedcast in the maritime satellite connectivity market over the last few years has been pronounced, particularly after the acquisition of Harris Caprock’s maritime business in 2017. In total, Valour Consultancy estimates Speedcast accounted for 12 per cent of maritime connectivity service revenues in 2017, representing global revenues of $186 million. Readers should note that we excluded a high portion of the firm’s revenues from the energy division due to its services to fixed platforms.

By the end of 2017, Navarino generated, globally, nearly $87 million in maritime connectivity service revenues, $37 million of which were associated with VSAT services. The service provider was actually Inmarsat’s top performing FX partner for all the quarters in 2017, surpassing Marlink and Speedcast’s FX installations. Nearly $50 million of its revenues were from L-band, primarily from Inmarsat’s Fleetbroadband offerings. The firm also provides some of Iridium’s Open Port packages, although this represented only a small number of its L-band deployments. Valour Consultancy estimates Navarino placed third in the L-band maritime connectivity service provider market in 2017, and thus represented 10 per cent of the L-band service provider market revenues.

Valour Consultancy presents the global rankings of the maritime connectivity service provider in 2017

Maritime Service Provider Connectivity Rankings in 2017

For more information about the full report, contact us here.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4825|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="none" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Antenna-1024x494-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] In Valour Consultancy’s latest maritime connectivity report, “The Future of Maritime Connectivity – 2018 Edition”. It is estimated that, globally, there were over 262,500 active maritime satellite terminals (VSAT and L-band) by the end of 2017. This equated to a satellite connectivity retail market worth over $1.5 billion. The number of VSAT terminals were estimated to account for just nine per cent of the global subscriber base in 2017, but associated revenues accounted for more than $1 billion, or 68 per cent of total revenues. L-band connectivity services generated $504 million in the same period. A key question asked by many people in the industry is “How Did the Key Players Perform in 2017?” Summary of 2017
  • Marlink made significant progress in the maritime connectivity market, winning many of the tenders it participated in. The firm was the largest supplier of retail maritime satellite services in 2017, with associated revenues of $340 million. It is believed 70 per cent of the top 50 merchant shipping companies subscribe to its services.
  • Speedcast completed the purchase of Harris Caprock in 2017 and will likely complete the acquisition of Globecomm before the end of 2018. The firm will become the second largest supplier of retail connectivity in 2018.
  • Inmarsat plays a prominent role in the maritime market and generated more than $564.7 million in the market overall – both through its wholesale and retail offerings in 2017. Valour Consultancy estimates the British satellite firm derived more than $200 million of revenues via direct channels in 2017.
  • Global Eagle continues to make steady progress in the industry, with its primary focus on passenger and leisure vessels. In July 2017, the firm introduced a new luxury brand called PRIVA, which replaces the legacy MTN brand that operated its yacht connectivity business.
  • Navarino had deployed 6,000 of its Infinity boxes (which support L-band and VSAT services) at the end of 2017, 60 per cent of which are served directly by Navarino. The firm also uses third-party maritime service providers for the remainder of its business. The firm held fifth position in the global maritime service provider market and accounted for 6 per cent of market revenues.
Deep-Dive Marlink was the largest supplier of retail maritime satellite services in 2017, representing 22 per cent of global maritime service revenues. More than 65 per cent of the firm’s revenues were derived from VSAT connectivity services, and the remainder for L-band services; making Marlink the second largest global L-band reseller in the market in 2017. The firm has enjoyed an enormously successful period in the merchant shipping sector, with more than 50 per cent of its business originating from this sector. Marlink caters connectivity solutions to more than 20,000 terminals. globally. In addition, the group has made several astute company acquisitions over the years, which include Telemar, Palantir, Livewire Connections and OmniAccess, all of which operate under the umbrella Marlink Group. Inmarsat plays a dual role in the maritime market, one as a service provider serving customers directly and the other as a satellite operator, providing wholesale Ka-band and L-band capacity to service providers, as well as some Ku-band (legacy business). As a direct service provider, Inmarsat generated more than $200 million in 2017, accounting for 13 per cent of total revenues. The majority of the firm’s maritime revenues are derived from its L-band business; with its Fleetbroadband service generating slightly under $350 million in 2017. Its direct retail VSAT business generated more than $55 million in 2017. This will change significantly over the next few years as companies likes Navarino, Speedcast, Marlink and other service providers complete on their pledges to convert their existing L-band and Ku-band vessels to FX. Merchant, energy and fishing were Inmarsat’s largest applications in respective order of revenues. The rise of Speedcast in the maritime satellite connectivity market over the last few years has been pronounced, particularly after the acquisition of Harris Caprock’s maritime business in 2017. In total, Valour Consultancy estimates Speedcast accounted for 12 per cent of maritime connectivity service revenues in 2017, representing global revenues of $186 million. Readers should note that we excluded a high portion of the firm’s revenues from the energy division due to its services to fixed platforms. By the end of 2017, Navarino generated, globally, nearly $87 million in maritime connectivity service revenues, $37 million of which were associated with VSAT services. The service provider was actually Inmarsat’s top performing FX partner for all the quarters in 2017, surpassing Marlink and Speedcast’s FX installations. Nearly $50 million of its revenues were from L-band, primarily from Inmarsat’s Fleetbroadband offerings. The firm also provides some of Iridium’s Open Port packages, although this represented only a small number of its L-band deployments. Valour Consultancy estimates Navarino placed third in the L-band maritime connectivity service provider market in 2017, and thus represented 10 per cent of the L-band service provider market revenues. Valour Consultancy presents the global rankings of the maritime connectivity service provider in 2017 Maritime Service Provider Connectivity Rankings in 2017 For more information about the full report, contact us here. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

The Future of Maritime Connectivity – A Sneak Preview

In October 2018, Valour Consultancy will publish a long-awaited update to its maritime connectivity report. For those that simply cannot wait to get a hold of this information, we thought we’d share a sneak peek of our just-realised preliminary data…

Our statistics show that the global maritime connectivity market will continue to grow strongly in 2018, with annual service revenues projected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of the year. This represents a 5.4 per cent increase from 2017.

The VSAT portion of the market is anticipated to drive future growth, with MSS service revenues declining over the coming years. By the end of 2017, VSAT terminals accounted for only nine per cent of the installed base of vessels with some type of connectivity system installed. This will increase to 10 per cent by the end of 2018 and 18 per cent by 2027.

Revenues from VSAT terminal services represented 68 per cent of the total market (equivalent to some $1 billion) in 2017. Average monthly revenues per terminal for C-, Ku-, and Ka-band services differ considerably, however, and were recorded at $5,750, $3,078, and $2,757, respectively, in 2017. In comparison, average monthly service revenues for L-band terminals were just $169.

The passenger segment is a particularly lucrative market as many cruise and ferry line operators are seeking out greater satellite bandwidth capacities to match an ever-increasing demand from passengers to use Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets. Not only do people want to eat their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; they wish to take pictures of them and post them on social media pages for all the world to see (or sea, if you pardon the pun).

In other maritime verticals, such as merchant, the desire to improve crew welfare is a major driver for the adoption of VSAT technologies for voice, video and email communications. Spending months away from friends and family without any communications can be sapping on morale and will likely lead to staff reconsidering their career or employment choices.

Another major driver within the shipping industry is the digitalisation of vessel operations and increasing operational efficiencies. One key cost saver is anticipating maintenance or repair work before a piece of machinery on the vessel breaks down out at sea, which is much costlier to fix than a vessel docked at a port.

Furthermore, people’s expectations are changing to the degree that not having the ability to access emails or messages is intolerable no matter where they are in the world, on land, at sea or in the air. This is a very notable trend in the leisure market. Yacht or smaller leisure boat owners want to continue with their normal life and business routines whilst sailing around the world. Access to connectivity is essential for them to achieve this.

The Future of Maritime Connectivity” report projects maritime connectivity service revenues will reach almost $2.1 billion by the end of 2027. The leisure and passenger segments are predicted to be the fastest growing areas. Indeed, ARPU for some of the biggest cruise vessels using VSAT systems is expected to easily surpass $30,000 per month.

Speedcast, the Australian service provider, has been very successful in the passenger market thanks in part to the 2017 acquisition of Harris Caprock and August 2018 purchase of Globecomm.

Within the next ten years, global VSAT terminal deployments will treble to more than 72,000 units. The Ka-band market is projected to record the biggest increase, expanding ten-fold from a small base of around 3,000 terminals at the end of 2017, to greater than 30,000 by 2027. In fact, Inmarsat recently revealed that it expects to carry out the 5,000th ship installation of its Fleet Xpress solution by the end of this month, which gives an idea of just how quickly this particular technology is being adopted.

With the prospects for VSAT in maritime incredibly rosy, it can be easy to overlook the MSS market. As such, the report also delves into the low-speed and no voice MSS segment (GMDSS and asset tracking) of the maritime communications market and provides forecasts for the broadband and voice portion (Fleet Broadband and OpenPort). Although VSAT is steadily cannibalising these markets across different maritime verticals, annual L-band service revenues are projected to decline at a slower rate than some might expect. Demand in the fishing, merchant and leisure sectors will continue to support this limited bandwidth technology.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4867|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/yacht-3480913_1280-min-1024x682-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text]In October 2018, Valour Consultancy will publish a long-awaited update to its maritime connectivity report. For those that simply cannot wait to get a hold of this information, we thought we’d share a sneak peek of our just-realised preliminary data… Our statistics show that the global maritime connectivity market will continue to grow strongly in 2018, with annual service revenues projected to reach $1.6 billion by the end of the year. This represents a 5.4 per cent increase from 2017. The VSAT portion of the market is anticipated to drive future growth, with MSS service revenues declining over the coming years. By the end of 2017, VSAT terminals accounted for only nine per cent of the installed base of vessels with some type of connectivity system installed. This will increase to 10 per cent by the end of 2018 and 18 per cent by 2027. Revenues from VSAT terminal services represented 68 per cent of the total market (equivalent to some $1 billion) in 2017. Average monthly revenues per terminal for C-, Ku-, and Ka-band services differ considerably, however, and were recorded at $5,750, $3,078, and $2,757, respectively, in 2017. In comparison, average monthly service revenues for L-band terminals were just $169. The passenger segment is a particularly lucrative market as many cruise and ferry line operators are seeking out greater satellite bandwidth capacities to match an ever-increasing demand from passengers to use Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets. Not only do people want to eat their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; they wish to take pictures of them and post them on social media pages for all the world to see (or sea, if you pardon the pun). In other maritime verticals, such as merchant, the desire to improve crew welfare is a major driver for the adoption of VSAT technologies for voice, video and email communications. Spending months away from friends and family without any communications can be sapping on morale and will likely lead to staff reconsidering their career or employment choices. Another major driver within the shipping industry is the digitalisation of vessel operations and increasing operational efficiencies. One key cost saver is anticipating maintenance or repair work before a piece of machinery on the vessel breaks down out at sea, which is much costlier to fix than a vessel docked at a port. Furthermore, people’s expectations are changing to the degree that not having the ability to access emails or messages is intolerable no matter where they are in the world, on land, at sea or in the air. This is a very notable trend in the leisure market. Yacht or smaller leisure boat owners want to continue with their normal life and business routines whilst sailing around the world. Access to connectivity is essential for them to achieve this. “The Future of Maritime Connectivity” report projects maritime connectivity service revenues will reach almost $2.1 billion by the end of 2027. The leisure and passenger segments are predicted to be the fastest growing areas. Indeed, ARPU for some of the biggest cruise vessels using VSAT systems is expected to easily surpass $30,000 per month. Speedcast, the Australian service provider, has been very successful in the passenger market thanks in part to the 2017 acquisition of Harris Caprock and August 2018 purchase of Globecomm. Within the next ten years, global VSAT terminal deployments will treble to more than 72,000 units. The Ka-band market is projected to record the biggest increase, expanding ten-fold from a small base of around 3,000 terminals at the end of 2017, to greater than 30,000 by 2027. In fact, Inmarsat recently revealed that it expects to carry out the 5,000th ship installation of its Fleet Xpress solution by the end of this month, which gives an idea of just how quickly this particular technology is being adopted. With the prospects for VSAT in maritime incredibly rosy, it can be easy to overlook the MSS market. As such, the report also delves into the low-speed and no voice MSS segment (GMDSS and asset tracking) of the maritime communications market and provides forecasts for the broadband and voice portion (Fleet Broadband and OpenPort). Although VSAT is steadily cannibalising these markets across different maritime verticals, annual L-band service revenues are projected to decline at a slower rate than some might expect. Demand in the fishing, merchant and leisure sectors will continue to support this limited bandwidth technology.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

The Market for In-Flight Connectivity on VIP and Business Aircraft

Last month, Valour Consultancy released its latest analysis of the market for in-flight connectivity on VIP and business aircraft. The study draws upon our considerable expertise in analysing the adoption of in-flight connectivity (IFC) in commercial aviation and is the result of a rigorous primary research phase consisting of numerous interviews with key players from across the industry.

The report finds that, globally, there were 19,131 IFC systems on VIP and business aircraft at the end of 2016. L-band was by far and away the most dominant connectivity technology with cumulative connections representing 75% of the total. A large proportion of this is accounted for by Iridium, whose systems support in-flight satellite phone operations on almost 10,000 aircraft. The remainder of L-band connections are accounted for by Inmarsat, which has seen adoption of SwiftBroadband (SBB) pick up rapidly in recent years.

Uptake of Gogo’s Air-to-Ground (ATG) options has been similarly brisk in recent years. By the end 2013, there were 2,047 terminals connected to the Gogo Biz network. This had increased to 4,172 three years later.

ATG and L-band both have room for further growth in coming years, too.

With respect to ATG, there will likely be continued interest in Gogo’s solutions over the course of the forecast period (2016 to 2026), especially now that the company is close to commercial launch of Gogo Biz 4G and plans to have its next-generation ATG network, which will offer peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps, up and running by 2018.

When you add SmartSky Networks and its 4G network into the mix, as well as the Inmarsat European Aviation Network (EAN), it is apparent that there remains plenty of potential for ATG technology. Though it is yet to be officially confirmed whether the EAN will be used by the business aviation industry, there appears to be consensus that it would work very well on board private aircraft.

While Inmarsat is reportedly seeing a lot of interest from operators looking to upgrade from lower-bandwidth IFC systems to Jet ConneX, the company is also working on increasing the performance of the L-band technology used for SBB. Iridium, meanwhile, is currently prepping for the launch of the second batch of Iridium NEXT satellites, which are due for lift off on the 25th June. Upon completion of the constellation in 2018 and the start of commercial service one year later, the so-called Iridium Certus solution will likely find favour among operators of those small- and medium-sized business jets less suited to the fitment of bulky radomes.

Adoption of Ku-band technology on VIP and business aircraft appears to have an equally rosy future – a view presumably shared by new market entrants, Panasonic Avionics and Global Eagle, as well as Gogo, which recently announced its first business aviation customer for 2Ku. Right now, there are some 500 Ku-band systems in operation on VIP and business aircraft and the vast majority of these are accounted for by ViaSat and its Yonder system (although it’s no longer referred to as Yonder, to shift the focus towards the ViaSat brand). Panasonic and Global Eagle representatives have not been shy in admitting that they are gunning for ViaSat in this market.

However, ViaSat appears content to focus on ensuring existing clients migrate to its Ka-band technology – a sensible strategy given the ongoing success of its Exede in the Air product in commercial aviation. Now that ViaSat-2 has finally launched after several setbacks, there will soon be a considerable amount of additional Ka-band capacity for business jets flying between North America and Europe. Additionally, the company says that it will have its three planned ViaSat-3 satellites operational around 2020 making ViaSat the only rival provider of global Ka-band capacity to Inmarsat.

By 2020, ViaSat could have some catching up to do if the take up of Jet ConneX is anything to go by. Having debuted in November 2016, there were an estimated 30 aircraft fitted with the solution by the turn of the year. Inmarsat has previously stated that it expects to see 150 Jet ConneX-equipped aircraft by the end of 2017 and has a goal of connecting 3,000 jets by 2020 (although it is apparently now upgrading its forecasts).

Overall, we are forecasting that by the end of 2026, there will be 37,710 IFC systems installed on VIP and business aircraft – almost double the current total. The reader should, of course, note that these numbers do not refer to the number of aircraft with IFC. In fact, it is estimated that today, around 1,000 to 2,000 aircraft with Iridium satellite phones also make use of Inmarsat’s SBB network. Likewise, Gogo has publicly reported 4,172 connections to its Gogo Biz service and acts as the service provider for 5,286 installed Iridium terminals as well as 214 installed SBB terminals (a total of 9,972 connections – all accurate and up to date at the end of 2016). However, the firm delivers services to 7,400 aircraft implying many are flying with more than one system installed.

The following factors have driven interest in IFC on VIP and business aircraft and will continue to do so in future:

  • Owners of business aircraft fitted with connectivity equipment some time ago will be keener to take advantage of more recent advances in satellite and hardware technology.
  • The ‘Uber-isation’ of the private aviation industry is increasingly being talked about and with e-commerce replacing traditional methods of sourcing and booking a business jet, easy comparisons between different operators and aircraft means that customers can see where one aircraft has IFC and another doesn’t. This transparency will further encourage operators to improve their offerings.
  • As well as the increased comparison between business jets and their features because of new e-commerce initiatives, business aviation is having to compete with the rapid adoption of IFC in commercial air transport perhaps making a first class connected seat more attractive than a private jet with no in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • Competition is hotting up with the likes of Global Eagle, Panasonic Avionics, BizJetMobile and SmartSky Networks all new to the market or preparing to enter.
  • The launch of several new high throughput satellites (HTS) and the prospect of cheaper capacity and faster services is having an extremely positive effect on the market with service providers having inked several new deals in recent years.
  • The connected aircraft and e-Enablement is beginning to resonate more and more as a way to drive operational efficiencies and help underpin the IFC business case.

Some of the remaining challenges to more widespread adoption of IFC on VIP and business aircraft are as follows.

  • Production of new business jets has stagnated and consequently reduced the possibility of line-fit offerability deals for many IFC providers and limited their opportunities for growth.
  • Fitting an aircraft with a sizeable antenna to enable IFC impacts aerodynamics and increases fuel burn, thereby driving up operating costs. Additionally, many smaller business jets are currently unable to accommodate larger Ku- and Ka-band antennas on their fuselages.
  • Current generation Ku-/Ka-band systems lock operators into the service provider (so the hardware is not provider agnostic) and should there be a desire to switch, a very expensive refit ensues.
  • While commercial airlines tend to fly set routes at specific times of day, business jets are more sporadic. One day they may be flying domestically in the US, the next they may be making their way to China or Russia. This uncertainty means high-bandwidth IFC solutions that offer global coverage – which are currently few in number – are perhaps more compelling.
  • Many in the industry are concerned that as we move towards realising the vision of the fully-connected aircraft, the opportunity for cyberattacks will increase. The main worry seems to be that such systems will allow wrongdoers to control aircraft and manipulate commands issued to the aircraft. It should be noted that flight control systems are purposefully isolated from all other communications networks on-board the aircraft.
  • Selling an IFC service based on deployment events that have not happened is a significant challenge and operators understandably give much more credit to satellite assets in space than on paper. Further, a delay to the launch of any service has the potential to scare prospective customers away or send them into the arms of rivals. Unfortunately, such delays are all too commonplace for many much-anticipated IFC solutions.

Published in May 2017, “The Market for In-Flight Connectivity on VIP and Business Aircraft” provides an unrivalled insight and analysis into the current and future deployment of IFC on these aircraft. The number of IFC systems installed in 2016 is quantified with forecasts out to 2026 and data is segmented by fitment type, aircraft size, frequency band and geographic region with a full qualitative discussion of the key trends at play in support of this. The report also sizes the market for both service revenues and key enabling hardware, in addition to market share estimates for service providers and capacity providers. A chapter profiling key players is presented, too.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4980|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/luxury-1961577_960_720-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] Last month, Valour Consultancy released its latest analysis of the market for in-flight connectivity on VIP and business aircraft. The study draws upon our considerable expertise in analysing the adoption of in-flight connectivity (IFC) in commercial aviation and is the result of a rigorous primary research phase consisting of numerous interviews with key players from across the industry. The report finds that, globally, there were 19,131 IFC systems on VIP and business aircraft at the end of 2016. L-band was by far and away the most dominant connectivity technology with cumulative connections representing 75% of the total. A large proportion of this is accounted for by Iridium, whose systems support in-flight satellite phone operations on almost 10,000 aircraft. The remainder of L-band connections are accounted for by Inmarsat, which has seen adoption of SwiftBroadband (SBB) pick up rapidly in recent years. Uptake of Gogo’s Air-to-Ground (ATG) options has been similarly brisk in recent years. By the end 2013, there were 2,047 terminals connected to the Gogo Biz network. This had increased to 4,172 three years later. ATG and L-band both have room for further growth in coming years, too. With respect to ATG, there will likely be continued interest in Gogo’s solutions over the course of the forecast period (2016 to 2026), especially now that the company is close to commercial launch of Gogo Biz 4G and plans to have its next-generation ATG network, which will offer peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps, up and running by 2018. When you add SmartSky Networks and its 4G network into the mix, as well as the Inmarsat European Aviation Network (EAN), it is apparent that there remains plenty of potential for ATG technology. Though it is yet to be officially confirmed whether the EAN will be used by the business aviation industry, there appears to be consensus that it would work very well on board private aircraft. While Inmarsat is reportedly seeing a lot of interest from operators looking to upgrade from lower-bandwidth IFC systems to Jet ConneX, the company is also working on increasing the performance of the L-band technology used for SBB. Iridium, meanwhile, is currently prepping for the launch of the second batch of Iridium NEXT satellites, which are due for lift off on the 25th June. Upon completion of the constellation in 2018 and the start of commercial service one year later, the so-called Iridium Certus solution will likely find favour among operators of those small- and medium-sized business jets less suited to the fitment of bulky radomes. Adoption of Ku-band technology on VIP and business aircraft appears to have an equally rosy future – a view presumably shared by new market entrants, Panasonic Avionics and Global Eagle, as well as Gogo, which recently announced its first business aviation customer for 2Ku. Right now, there are some 500 Ku-band systems in operation on VIP and business aircraft and the vast majority of these are accounted for by ViaSat and its Yonder system (although it's no longer referred to as Yonder, to shift the focus towards the ViaSat brand). Panasonic and Global Eagle representatives have not been shy in admitting that they are gunning for ViaSat in this market. However, ViaSat appears content to focus on ensuring existing clients migrate to its Ka-band technology – a sensible strategy given the ongoing success of its Exede in the Air product in commercial aviation. Now that ViaSat-2 has finally launched after several setbacks, there will soon be a considerable amount of additional Ka-band capacity for business jets flying between North America and Europe. Additionally, the company says that it will have its three planned ViaSat-3 satellites operational around 2020 making ViaSat the only rival provider of global Ka-band capacity to Inmarsat. By 2020, ViaSat could have some catching up to do if the take up of Jet ConneX is anything to go by. Having debuted in November 2016, there were an estimated 30 aircraft fitted with the solution by the turn of the year. Inmarsat has previously stated that it expects to see 150 Jet ConneX-equipped aircraft by the end of 2017 and has a goal of connecting 3,000 jets by 2020 (although it is apparently now upgrading its forecasts). Overall, we are forecasting that by the end of 2026, there will be 37,710 IFC systems installed on VIP and business aircraft – almost double the current total. The reader should, of course, note that these numbers do not refer to the number of aircraft with IFC. In fact, it is estimated that today, around 1,000 to 2,000 aircraft with Iridium satellite phones also make use of Inmarsat’s SBB network. Likewise, Gogo has publicly reported 4,172 connections to its Gogo Biz service and acts as the service provider for 5,286 installed Iridium terminals as well as 214 installed SBB terminals (a total of 9,972 connections – all accurate and up to date at the end of 2016). However, the firm delivers services to 7,400 aircraft implying many are flying with more than one system installed. The following factors have driven interest in IFC on VIP and business aircraft and will continue to do so in future:
  • Owners of business aircraft fitted with connectivity equipment some time ago will be keener to take advantage of more recent advances in satellite and hardware technology.
  • The ‘Uber-isation’ of the private aviation industry is increasingly being talked about and with e-commerce replacing traditional methods of sourcing and booking a business jet, easy comparisons between different operators and aircraft means that customers can see where one aircraft has IFC and another doesn’t. This transparency will further encourage operators to improve their offerings.
  • As well as the increased comparison between business jets and their features because of new e-commerce initiatives, business aviation is having to compete with the rapid adoption of IFC in commercial air transport perhaps making a first class connected seat more attractive than a private jet with no in-flight Wi-Fi.
  • Competition is hotting up with the likes of Global Eagle, Panasonic Avionics, BizJetMobile and SmartSky Networks all new to the market or preparing to enter.
  • The launch of several new high throughput satellites (HTS) and the prospect of cheaper capacity and faster services is having an extremely positive effect on the market with service providers having inked several new deals in recent years.
  • The connected aircraft and e-Enablement is beginning to resonate more and more as a way to drive operational efficiencies and help underpin the IFC business case.
Some of the remaining challenges to more widespread adoption of IFC on VIP and business aircraft are as follows.
  • Production of new business jets has stagnated and consequently reduced the possibility of line-fit offerability deals for many IFC providers and limited their opportunities for growth.
  • Fitting an aircraft with a sizeable antenna to enable IFC impacts aerodynamics and increases fuel burn, thereby driving up operating costs. Additionally, many smaller business jets are currently unable to accommodate larger Ku- and Ka-band antennas on their fuselages.
  • Current generation Ku-/Ka-band systems lock operators into the service provider (so the hardware is not provider agnostic) and should there be a desire to switch, a very expensive refit ensues.
  • While commercial airlines tend to fly set routes at specific times of day, business jets are more sporadic. One day they may be flying domestically in the US, the next they may be making their way to China or Russia. This uncertainty means high-bandwidth IFC solutions that offer global coverage – which are currently few in number – are perhaps more compelling.
  • Many in the industry are concerned that as we move towards realising the vision of the fully-connected aircraft, the opportunity for cyberattacks will increase. The main worry seems to be that such systems will allow wrongdoers to control aircraft and manipulate commands issued to the aircraft. It should be noted that flight control systems are purposefully isolated from all other communications networks on-board the aircraft.
  • Selling an IFC service based on deployment events that have not happened is a significant challenge and operators understandably give much more credit to satellite assets in space than on paper. Further, a delay to the launch of any service has the potential to scare prospective customers away or send them into the arms of rivals. Unfortunately, such delays are all too commonplace for many much-anticipated IFC solutions.
Published in May 2017, “The Market for In-Flight Connectivity on VIP and Business Aircraft” provides an unrivalled insight and analysis into the current and future deployment of IFC on these aircraft. The number of IFC systems installed in 2016 is quantified with forecasts out to 2026 and data is segmented by fitment type, aircraft size, frequency band and geographic region with a full qualitative discussion of the key trends at play in support of this. The report also sizes the market for both service revenues and key enabling hardware, in addition to market share estimates for service providers and capacity providers. A chapter profiling key players is presented, too. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

The Scandinavian dream of maritime communications: A transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk

Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations.

The transformational agreement between Maersk Line – the world’s largest shipping company – and Ericsson – the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators – serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…”

Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system.

Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions.

This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities.

As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers.

Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea.

To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency”

Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4990|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/container-158362_1280-1-1024x512-1.png[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations. The transformational agreement between Maersk Line - the world’s largest shipping company - and Ericsson - the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators - serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…” Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system. Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions. This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities. As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers. Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea. To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency” Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]