Delivering the Internet at sea through satellite transponders has a surprisingly broad range of uses. Cruise liners often include Internet access as part of room service for their floating hotels, while Internet-aided tracking systems pinpoint the locations and movements of cargo ships in oceans all around the world. As a result, the bandwidth demand from maritime customers is rapidly expanding, to the point that Northern Sky Research predicts that there will be more than 160 satellite transponders in place by the year 2023.
“Bandwidth demand is rising across most ships, and with more capacity available globally, the industry is in a race to meet the needs for seafarers, crew and passengers that want to stay connected,” says NSR Reseach Director Claude Rosseau. Rosseau co-authored the report with NSR Senior Analyst Brad Grady, who adds, “With growth stabalizing from economic recession in the maritime market, there is more focus on improving operational efficiencies, providing services to crew to retrain them, and to ensure compliance with regulations.”
By 2023, NSR predicts that there will be over 980,000 in-service units depending on satellites with FSS capacity. This will likely increase the satellite capacity revenue to $2 billion, while total retail revenue is expected to climb above $5.5 billion. Industries including offshore oil drilling and even fishing will benefit from instantly updating global partners on their current state of affairs, and will allow for greater specialization and overall collaboration.
Of course, much of this bandwidth demand is created by passengers of cruise ships and others simply traveling at sea, as the Internet has become an ubiquitous facet of our day-to-day lives. The fear of missing out leads people to checking their emails and Facebook pages even during plane flights, and the demand for in-flight Wi-Fi is also steadily increasing.
TechZone360 Contributing Writer
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