The recent Satellite 2018 expo marked the launch of Cobham SATCOM’s Sea Tel 9711 Triband maritime antenna system.
This antenna uses technology and capabilities developed by communications company, Viasat.
The Sea Tel 9711 Triband is claimed to be the world’s first 2.4 m maritime stabilised antenna capable of delivering full 2.4 m gain performance across any C-, Ku-, or Ka-band network to maximise high-speed, high-quality broadband connectivity for high-demand maritime segments, such as the cruise sector.
It uses radio frequency (RF) technology provided by Viasat to enable compatibility across any Ka-band satellite network operating in any orbit. The system offers automated electronic switching.
The latest maritime antenna system builds on the success of its predecessor, the Sea Tel 9711 IMA C/Ku system, which boasts nearly 1,000 systems in the field. The latest version has the added flexibility of automatic switching in seconds between all three maritime frequencies.
“Our Sea Tel line of large VSAT systems has been the industry’s first choice among global cruise and energy users for decades,” claimed Christian Kock, vice president, Maritime Business Unit, Cobham SATCOM. “The 9711 C/Ku antenna enabled a shift from speeds measured in the 10s of Mbps to closer to 1 Gbps.
“The newer triband variant represents a leap forward, not only in terms of bandwidth potential, but also in empowering both our partners and our users to craft unconventional service packages leveraging multiple frequencies, multiple networks, multiple orbits and more. This system is a core building block for what will be the next generation of connectivity at sea.”
The cruise industry leads the way in harnessing IP connectivity for business gains, the company said. Over the last 18 – 24 months, a number of major cruise operators have succeeded in showing that maritime internet does not have to be any different from land-based services. Through these efforts, a number of ships have increased their average bandwidth by as much as 2,000%, with some achieving speeds well over 1 Gbps for operational, crew and guest use.
“Cruise ship connectivity is no longer just a means of enabling passengers to email, post photos and make phone calls – it’s much more than that,” said Matt Galston, senior director, Maritime Product Management at Cobham SATCOM. “It’s about a $60 bill per year segment of the global resort and hospitality industry investing in digital transformation.
“It’s about distinguishing an experience through insights gained from IoT sensors and real-time analytics. In other words, it’s about maximising the value of your offering through greater, data-driven customer understanding. This is a trend happening throughout nearly every industry today. The Sea Tel 9711 Triband system is designed specifically to deliver that transformational capability to businesses operating anywhere on the planet,” he said.
“Cobham SATCOM’s Sea Tel line represents the gold standard for large maritime systems, and we are excited to be collaborating with them to ensure connectivity across all high-capacity satellite networks,” said Doug Abts, vice president, Global Mobility, Viasat. “Our high quality Ka-band RF components provide the bandwidth, power and flexibility to enable access to any Ka-band satellite system. Additionally, when equipped with a Viasat modem, vessels will be able to access any Viasat-enabled high-capacity satellite network including ViaSat-2, KA-SAT, ViaSat-3 and others.”