EMC unveils HTS VSAT services

Jun 17 2016

EMC has announced a new global Ku-band VSAT package for vessels, optimised for the high-throughput satellite (HTS) networks that are now being deployed.

“Designed with crew welfare as a top priority, the new EMC VSAT platform offers a combination of services and capabilities never before available from a single marine VSAT supplier,” claimed Gilles Gillesen, president of EMC’s commercial shipping business unit. “New features include our exclusive (patented) SpeedNet high-speed web browsing service, live TV programming delivered through the Ku-band network, video and entertainment on demand and a powerful new account management portal – all wrapped up in a competitively priced package.”

EMC’s patented SpeedNet technology is claimed to solve the age-old problem of latency in web access at sea. Using a proprietary intelligent protocol and global backbone, SpeedNet predictively fetches, compresses and pushes multiple layers of websites at once to local servers. The net result for the end-user is a browsing experience that mimics being on high-speed fiber.

SpeedNet works in the background on mobile and desktop browsers, to accelerate page load times. SpeedNet is built into all EMC ship installations as a standard feature, not as an expensive option.

As an example, side-by-side comparison tests revealed the average time for accessing BBC.com’s home page was only 4.6 secs with SpeedNet and 21.2 secs without it over the same satellite connection.

“Even though latency is inherent in satellite communications, we no longer have to accept it as a fact of life,” said Gillesen. “We can now give users at sea the same quality of experience they are accustomed to getting when browsing the web at home.”

Starting this summer, EMC will begin broadcasting live TV programming over the same Ku-band network that delivers voice and data services, using a single satellite antenna on board. The first two live TV channels to be offered are BBC News and Sport 24.

The service will be offered regionally and expanded over time. Expansion plans include additional live channels and a suite of on-demand entertainment options later this year.

“This is the next step in bringing crew members more of the comforts of home, easing the burden of loneliness and the feeling of separation often experienced during long sea voyages,” said Gillesen.

EMC is also launching a new back-end billing and account management platform that allows crew and network admins to manage both voice and data plans from a single portal. Admin and crew networks can be managed separately.

Individual crew members can directly manage and top up their plans with prepaid options. They can even transfer funds to mobile accounts of friends and family at home on more than 400 carriers in more than 100 countries. 

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