Use of marine data soars, says Inmarsat


The use of commercial maritime vessel data has more than tripled since 2019, according to a new communications analysis by maritime communications specialist Inmarsat.

Inmarsat said the study findings underscore the shipping industry’s reliance on digital connectivity to improve operational efficiency and protect crew wellbeing during a time of unprecedented disruption to maritime commerce. .

Internal research undertaken by Inmarsat, which claims to connect more ships than any other provider, reveals maritime demand has continued to rise as commercial shipping recovers from the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic – with data usage among Inmarsat’s maritime customers increased by almost 70% in the 12 months to mid-2022.

Analysis of data usage by major vessel operators shows year-over-year data demand was highest among container shipping companiesmore than doubled (108%) in June 2022 compared to June 2021, while connectivity usage increased by 70% among tanker operators and 47% on bulk carriers over the same period.

Ben Palm TreePresident of Inmarsat Maritime, said: “The use of maritime data is a leading indicator of economic activity and international trade in the shipping industry, which accounts for 90% of all world trade.

“More and more shipping companies are upgrading their satellite communications services and adopting new technologies for applications such as route planning, ship-to-shore broadband data transfers and to maximize efficiency They also ensure that their crews stay in touch with family and friends at sea, the mandatory requirement now recognized by the Maritime Labor Convention.Our research shows that the use of data is increasing among all types of commercial vessels.

“The success we are seeing in our order book is due to our understanding of the commercial shipping industry and the needs of shipowners and operators. This appreciation has led directly to the development of our unique service proposition for shipping lines, which combines two 100% owned and operated global networks into our market-leading Fleet Xpress service. Our strategy is to continue to innovate at pace, supporting the rapid digitization the industry is experiencing, which in turn is driven by industry-wide decarbonization goals and the imperative to ensure the well- to be crew.

Inmarsat’s marine data utilization study comes amid a record order book for the company’s Fleet Xpress satellite communications systems. The installed base of Fleet Xpress increased by 17% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter of 2021, to nearly 13,000 vessels, with an order book of more than 1,000 vessels.


Earlier this year, Inmarsat completed technical proof-of-concept testing for the terrestrial 5G mesh component of its new ORCHESTRA network. The tests took place in Singapore, one of the busiest container ports in the world.

“ORCHESTRA provides innovative spectrum management and connectivity technology to deliver additional data capacity to major shipping hotspots through unique terrestrial backbone networks. The 5G mesh network has the potential to seamlessly integrate with constellations of Inmarsat’s geostationary satellites and highly targeted low-frequency fleet in Earth orbit (LEO) to deliver the lowest average latency and fastest average speeds with resilience unique to any planned global service,” said Imparsat. .

“As the demand for data continues to grow in the shipping industry, our ORCHESTRA tests in Singapore have shown in real cases how to improve ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship connectivity, including distances, range, throughput and link availability,” Palmer continued. “We are innovating with this technology because the demand for connectivity in major ports and waterways will only increase and lead to growing congestion.”

The figures for data usage and maritime orders coincide with Inmarsat’s continued planning to combine with Viasat in the United States, which also serves a range of customers in the maritime sector, Inmarsat said.

Upon completion of the transaction, Inmarsat said, the expanded company will offer customers greater choice in B2B satellite communications serving maritime customers, as well as aviation, government and enterprise users, providing “a robust multi-layered global architecture, and unique in the space sector, the ability to bring together multi-orbit satellite and terrestrial 4G and 5G assets.”


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