Inmarsat has published its third Superyacht Connectivity Report, focusing on the future requirements of superyacht professionals and the growing demand for advanced satellite technology to enable new ambitions of yachting freedom and adventure.

Providing a state-of-the-industry assessment of satellite communications usage within the superyacht fleet, the report confirms that demand for, and spending on, very small aperture terminal (VSAT) connectivity are forecast to grow significantly in the next five years as digitalisation expands in the sector. This adds further data to create a deeper understanding of the established trend in this area highlighted in the preceding 2018 and 2019 reports.

Additional insight into the factors driving the increasing reliance on satellite communication is also revealed, with the research showing a need for connectivity for operational use, in particular for regulation compliance and navigation, for fuel optimisation, efficiency and reduced environmental impact. The strong demand for trusted global communications for guest and crew use is also apparent, particularly for TV over internet protocol (IP) streaming onboard and internet access, in line with the need to meet crew welfare needs, a concern which became even more critical during this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

As the risk of cyber-attacks continues to rise in line with growing digitalisation, the responses from professionals indicate that further work is needed to improve awareness about the most effective on-board cybersecurity solutions, such as Fleet Secure Endpoint, and to assist the implementation of measures ensuring superyachts comply with new 2021 IMO regulations.

The Inmarsat 2020 research programme analysed data from skippers, senior crew, chief engineers and technical professionals on motor and sail vessels ranging from 24m to over 100m.

Key findings from the 2020 Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report include:

  • 42% increase in large VSAT usage expected by 2025
  • 61% will spend more than 10k Euros per month on satellite communications by 2025
  • 74% expect the vessel’s satellite communications budget to increase by more than 25%
  • 40% do not know the difference between anti-virus software and network endpoint security

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Yachting and Passenger, Inmarsat Maritime, said: “With the Superyacht Connectivity Report, Inmarsat is pleased to provide a valuable resource for the superyacht industry that will be beneficial through enabling more informed decisions and creating awareness of the latest technology and its potential. Building on the 2018 and 2019 reports, the 2020 report again highlights growing demand in the superyacht sector for reliable satellite communications anywhere in the world, even the most remote regions, for a range of operational, safety, leisure and business needs.

“The events of this year have demonstrated more than ever before that certainty in communication for superyacht professionals is critical. As the only satellite operator able to guarantee service levels globally by owning and managing the whole network from end to end, Inmarsat can offer this reassurance, with a future-proof strategy in place to extend the Global Xpress network with a further seven satellite launches in the next three years. We are confident we have the insight and capabilities to address the specific requirements driving the demand for continuous global on-board connectivity.”

The Inmarsat report provides data to assist industry professionals involved in the management and use of on-board satellite communications and supports Inmarsat’s commitment to match its leading services with current and future superyacht requirements. As digitalisation, large scale VSAT usage and the need for effective on-board cybersecurity increases in the sector, Inmarsat tailors its research each year to reflect the maritime data revolution, with emphasis on operational, guest and crew usages and needs, onboard data speed and airtime expectations, and cyber safety measures and training.

Inmarsat has established its position at the forefront of the expansion of digitalisation in the superyacht sector. Its range of fully-integrated maritime communication solutions for superyachts includes its high-speed Fleet Xpress platform, powered by the Global Xpress Ka-band network, combined with the proven reliability of Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband L-band service. It incorporates a range of benefits such as subscription flexibility, affordable voice calls, multiple voice options for crew and operations, and high-speed broadband for internet access, plus 24/7 online support by certified engineers. Further Inmarsat services for captains and crew are the new managed Wi-Fi solution Fleet Hotspot, its multi-layer cyber defence solution Fleet Secure Portfolio, and Fleet Data, the maritime industry’s first secure IoT platform.

The 2020 Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report can be downloaded here,

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