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Digitalization drives shipowner demand for higher bandwidth

Written by Nick Blenkey
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World-Link Communications President Asad Salameh

APRIL 25, 2018 — Demand for higher bandwidth is on the rise in the shipping industry as owners and managers position themselves to meet the opportunities posed by digitalization, according to Framington, MA, based independent mobile satellite communications service provider,World-Link Communications.

Asad Salameh, World-Link President, says that while shipowners see digitalization as essential to increasing the value of their asset, ship managers are turning to smart technology to help manage their fleets more effectively and more efficiently.

“The trend in the industry is definitely for higher bandwidth,” says Salameh. “We are very busy converting old technology such as Fleet Broadband to new options such as Fleet Express which is about ten times faster and without any limits on the megabytes you are sending.”

The number of ships switching to improved connectivity is also increasing.

“We are seeing even the smaller Greek shipowners (traditionally very conservative) looking to upgrade the systems they have on-board their ships to a higher bandwidth capability,” says Salameh.

Shipowners or managers are seeing benefits in switching from previously capacity-limiting packages to deals which can give unlimited gigabyte capacity at between 2 mbs and 4 mbs for the same monthly price they were paying before, plus or minus 10%.

“We don’t think that the vessel connectivity cost will drop drastically,” says Salameh, “there is demand and need for more bandwidth and the market is able to provide that. Yes, the per gigabyte cost is dropping but the monthly spend is almost remaining the same because of higher bandwidth usage. We have vessels that are now running 40 to 50 GB per month.”

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