Monaco Reflections

Monaco Yacht Show 2017

Four years ago this month, the OceanWeb team were in the throes of the Monaco Yacht Show when company MD, Ben Hextall, was interviewed by Superyacht Technology News to discuss how the team were getting on at the show and the outlook for the year ahead. We should be in Monaco again now, but a lot has changed since 2017 and unfortunately, we’ve not been able to make it this year. So in lieu of our attendance at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021, we thought we’d look back on previous shows and reflect on Ben’s words from those pre-Covid days…

Back in 2017 you mentioned a client’s set up that allowed for multiple SIMs drawing from a single data pool. You have since changed the mobile data options available to OceanWeb clients, would you like to tell us a little more about that?

Right, 4G data. So again, a lot has changed in the last couple of years. We’ve been listening to what our clients want, and I think that’s very important. And we’ve ended up with 3 different SIM plans effectively. We have an unlimited plan, a fixed data plan, and a pay per GB plan. And it’s quite interesting, when we’ve done all the research and looked at actual user data, those 3 plans fit in very well to what a client wants.

The fixed data ones are very interesting because again this is going back to what we discussed before when you have multiple SIMs on a vessel. Sometimes we’ve seen clients with dual HD4s so maybe 8 SIMs. You can basically wrap them all together into a single pool of high-speed data. So, some of the clients will be offering a terabyte, a couple of terabytes of data shared over those SIMs and that’s giving the most bandwidth to the vessel!

We’ve had some clients come to, us for example they have a tender, or they’re looking at just some bespoke charter setup and we find a pay-per-GB is very fair. You pay for what you use so there’s no wastage at all.

So ultimately having those three 4G roaming plans has given our clients a lot more flexibility. So, we listen to what they want, and we come up and say this solution fits in best with your plan, or your budget, or your itinerary. And again, it’s all down to flexibility.

​The company’s focus for 2018 was on increasing the flexibility of our services, in keeping with client feedback and OceanWeb’s commitment to customer service. What do you see in store for the company in 2022?

Sticking with flexibility, I think that is really the key word that we’re looking at with all the services that we provide. The VSAT, all our clients want massive flexibility, they want the ability to stop the service, start the service, increase the speeds, decrease the speeds. And so, we’re working very closely with the captain and the engineer, we’re finding out their itineraries and it means that we can put together a far more complete package where we’re bringing in 4G services and VSAT.

So we take a look and we say, okay, if you’re going to this destination we know the 4G is pretty poor so you should increase the VSAT. Conversely, if you’re going round the Greek isles, there’s fantastic 4G, you can actually reduce the VSAT. So, it’s about delivering maximum bandwidth across all platforms into that gateway to give maximum value for money.

And finally, after a 2-year hiatus. can we expect to see OceanWeb represented in Monaco for the 2022 show?

Absolutely! Really looking forward to going back to the Monaco Show. I was going through some old notebooks, and I think I’ve done about 14 to 16 shows – a good number of shows! And so, missing them the last couple of years has been sad. Really looking forward to going back in 2022, we’re sharing a stand with Isle of Man Maritime, which will be brilliant and helps give us more exposure, and helps promote the Isle of Man, which, of course, is where we’re based.