Marlink, the global maritime communications provider, on 2 June unveiled its new communication service at Nor-Shipping 2015. Designed for users of Marlink’s Sealink VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) service, the new SMARTconnect hybrid solution combines multiple communication carriers to provide optimal connectivity based on parameters pre-defined and managed by the customer. Communications that exist independent of specific carriers are able to reduce costs and increase flexibility.

SMARTconnect integrates Ku-, Ka-, C- and L-band satellite communication services with 3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi to create a unified link for owner and crew. “Our direct sales arm, Marlink, has successfully provided multi-carrier services to customers in the past, but with new and emerging communication services now more available, we feel that the time is right to introduce a much wider consolidated bandwidth approach, focusing on the application of connectivity by our customers and not on the channel it is delivered on,” explained Eric Ceuppens, head of satcoms at Airbus Defence and Space.

The system is seeking to demonstrate that alternative communications providers can effectively supplement existing VSAT services, providing an optimal service based on consumer demand levels, benefitting the supplementary service providers as well as the customer.

The selection of alternate carriers is based on a number of competing criteria including: backup parameters, low-latency access, high bandwidth, better throughput and/or a combination of all of these. Routing logic can be applied to enable automatic switching and allow owners/captains to have full control over how communication is routed through an intuitive user interface, allowing them to set priorities according to their own requirements at any given time.

“We believe that the provision of seamless throughput to meet the bandwidth and cost demands of each customer, regardless of the carrier type, is one of the most important aspects of maritime broadband services today,” said Tore Morten Olsen, head of maritime satcoms at Airbus Defence and Space. “We will continue to utilise available services, accommodate emerging technologies and build strong partnerships with third parties to future-proof SMARTconnect and generate significant savings and operational benefits for superyacht owners.”

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