In today’s digital environment more and more people are dependent on connectivity. Wherever they travel and whatever devices they use, they need an internet connection that provides enough bandwidth.
David Savage, Founder and Chairman of Excelerate Group, is a man with a vision. Back in 2001 he created Excelerate Technology in the UK and rapidly became global market leader in the provision of Data, Voice, Video and Internet via Satellite and LTE (4G) to Governments and Emergency Services.
Today, he wants to integrate his company’s experience in designing, integrating and supporting critical incident ground technology and resilient, available anywhere, networks into the Maritime market. This integration will respond to varying customer demands and provide solutions that are fully fit for purpose and represent best practice, best of breed and best value for money.
Earlier this year Excelerate merged South of France Maritime supplier and integrator 360° Marine into its group. The company appointed 360’s previous owner Frank Guinard as the new Operational Managing Director of Excelerate Technology SARL – the new base for the Maritime Subsidiary of Excelerate Group in Sophia Antipolis, South of France. Whilst the priority for the French subsidiary will be to become a market leader in Maritime, it will also eventually take the core Emergency Services solutions into government markets in France and beyond.
Whilst growing what was 360’s traditional maritime business, Excelerate has the additional mission of changing the ongoing perception in the yachting industry that VSAT solutions are always wildly expensive and poor quality. Savage believes that just like in his core business, demonstrating his company’s optimum connectivity solutions onboard cannot be achieved via simply a brochure or a website; it needs a consultative approach. He said: “The way to not set unrealistic expectations is to properly educate the Captain, crew and owners by showing them what can be achieved rather than by simply theorising.”
To allow for this education process and to show its commitment, fitness for purpose and ease of use, Excelerate has recently purchased a Sunseeker 94 Motor Yacht – known as Excelerate Z. Whilst Z can’t be turned into a new yacht, the company can upgrade her technology, Navigation, AV & Entertainment systems, Safety & Security, IT and Communications & Connectivity in such a way that she will stand shoulder to shoulder with any superyacht of the modern era.
Indeed, the company claims that for internet connectivity she will exceed the performance of any comparable yacht and many yachts costing twenty times more, delivering blisteringly quick satellite-broadband on its KU & KA band networks. Instead of just having to trust this statement, potential customers will now be able to see and try for themselves in the many ports around the Med.
Resilience through variation
Excelerate provides 4G connectivity, and in its core government business supplies and runs its own private 4G networks to ensure resilience without competition. However, because there are still significant geographical areas where there is no 4G and never will be, the company understands that in order to provide a guaranteed broadband connection it must include an element of satellite broadband. Excelerate lives and breathes resilience and so advocates and supplies both.
Its mission is to make a captain’s day less stressful and an owner’s day better at lower cost. For a great number of yacht owners one wasted hour or day without connectivity could have a huge business cost, far outweighing the investment in a VSAT solution and service. The company offers bandwidth that is not only scalable and personal to individual yachts but changeable in real time as a yacht’s circumstances change. This is available through seasonal and usage variations without the obligation to engage in a long-term contract.
‘Make Satellite Broadband as normal as electricity’
VSAT is the only true way to guarantee an internet connection but it should be usable and affordable. Savage maintains that if given a chance Excelerate can demonstrate that it does what it says on the tin and has happy captains to prove it, but also that any half decent yacht of 20 metres and above can easily afford what it provides. “My mission is make Satellite Broadband as normal as electricity and to save owners potentially tens of thousands of Euros over two or three seasons,” he said.
Z will not just be a floating showroom, it will also act as its own Research and Development Platform to help develop and test new innovations which will differentiate Excelerate from any other provider. Although the acquisition of Z was completed too late in the season to get it into this year’s Cannes Yacht Festival it is just completing its first phase of technical upgrade and will soon have 30Mb x 5Mb of super-fast satellite broadband available. It will be moored nearby to allow any interested Captains to relax onboard whilst putting Excelerate’s claims to the test. Trips to Z will also be available during MYS, where potential customers can be picked up at the show and taken to the yacht by car or tender, dependant on the weather and preference of the enquirer.
Further technical upgrades will take place through the remainder of the year to demonstrate the company’s commitment to putting its money where its mouth is, making Motor Yacht Excelerate Z – The Yacht of the Possible at costs that anyone will accept.