Towards affordable Satcom solutions in the marine sector

by Staff Reporter | May 8th, 2012

Joel Thompson, vice president, product management, Iridium

In conversation with Joel Thompson, vice president, product management, Iridium.

What is your view of the recent volatility in prices in the marine Satcom sector?

Communications for the maritime industry have traditionally been very restrictive and pay-by-the-minute, for those trying to connect to the shore. But this model doesn’t work.

Today’s crew is historically used to high per minute costs on voice with little access to data, while the ship owners are under pressure to reduce overall costs but still maintain crew morale. So the new demand is for affordable, high-value voice and data services.

Today’s crew is historically used to high per minute costs on voice with little access to data, while the ship owners are under pressure to reduce overall costs but still maintain crew morale. So the new demand is for affordable, high-value voice and data services.

We believe in developing long-standing relationships with our providers on smart solutions and stable competitive prices versus dictating their solutions, pricing and margins or causing gyrations in the market through up/down wholesale price moves that wreak havoc on  contracts with customers and, therefore, eroding goodwill.

What market segment in the marine sector is the largest driver of revenue for your company?

We cater to vessels of all sizes, from private yachts and small fishing boats to large ocean-going merchant ships, to enjoy the benefits of broadband communications no matter where they are on the planet.

Iridium Pilot, for instance, can be provisioned based on the needs of the individual ship or boat. It can have from one to three voice lines and from as low as 16 kbps to as high as 134 kbps.

How have you approached the factor of affordability of services?

We understand each customer has unique needs, so we have a variety of solutions to fit each size and budget. For example, there is increasing demand among ship owners for VSAT services, given their always-on, very high speed data connections and fixed monthly prices.

We are working closely with major VSAT service providers to bundle Iridium Pilot with their solutions to offer low-cost broadband service plans, with global coverage, to their customers.

Will satellite capacity be a constraint going forward?

We are not concerned with satellite capacity – our network was designed to handle about six times our current subscriber base and we are excited about our plans for our next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, which we’ve designed to be able to offer even more capacity and, of course, increased broadband speed capability.

PRO

Copyright 2017 SatellitePro Middle East. All rights reserved. Product of CPI Media Group. For more information e-mail us at webmaster@cpimediagroup.com.
Privacy Policy