Flexibility of Services

Whilst at the Monaco Yacht Show, Superyacht Technology News asked our very own Ben Hextall about new projects surrounding bandwidth aggregation and the importance of offering flexibility of services for the future of the superyacht industry.


What does OceanWeb have planned for Monaco Yacht Show this year?

I think one of the interesting areas we’ve been working in is that of bandwidth aggregation. Often the yachts will be relying on a VSAT, marina wifi or 4G. And, with the advent of newer gateways, you can actually bring all of these off-vessel connections together. It’s just ways of aggregating, of getting as much bandwidth as possible on board the yacht. So, we have clients with three or four lots of 4G and a VSAT all coming into one box, and then we can distribute it to the different users or VLANs on board the vessel. So, we can give dedicated bandwidth to just the owner’s network or just to the guests and that always keeps people happy!

Will you be visiting clients at the show?

Yes, we’ve got about 5 or 6 yachts here, and we’ve got a couple of interesting projects. One of the yachts is very interesting, where they’ve got four 4G routers and we’ve actually got a single pool of 4G data. So, we can give them 1TB of high-speed global roaming data, and any of the SIMs can take from that pooled data. So, again, one is given to the owner, one to the AV, and even their tender has one of these 4G routers on board and it’s just an easy way of managing it. Also, because it’s a single SIM, wherever they sail or wherever they’re motoring they don’t have to change SIMs. It’s a single APN as well, so it makes life easy.

It sounds like you have some exciting plans for 2018?

For 2018, I think one of the main ones is flexibility of services. Gone are the days when you’d say to a client that they have to sign for 3 years VSAT at this speed. Nobody wants that, nobody should be doing that anymore. And so, a lot of the services we’re offering now, we can do it in week-by-week increments. We can now offer up to 25MB download on VSAT in weekly increments. So, we have a number of clients that when the owner or guests come on board, we crank the VSAT right up to the maximum speed for that one week, then drop it down to a much slower speed. So, it’s flexibility. The moment they go into the yard, then we stop it, and they fall back to 4G again. That’s what they all want: flexibility.