EMC has announced a new global Ku-band VSAT package of connectivity and content for ships at sea, optimized for the next-generation 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,” said Gilles Gillesen, president of EMC’s commercial shipping business unit. “New features include our exclusive 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.”

SpeedNet: Redefining the Internet Experience at Sea

EMC’s patented SpeedNet technology solves 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 dramatically. SpeedNet is built into all EMC ship installations as a standard feature, not 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 seconds with SpeedNet and 21.2 seconds 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.”

Live TV Programming

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 Sport 24 channel features live coverage of Barclays Premier League, UEFA, Formula 1 racing, PGA, NBA, NHL, Euroleague Basketball, Wimbledon, U.S. Open Tennis and more. The service will be offered regionally and expanded over time. Expansion plans include additional live channels and a content-rich suite of on-demand entertainment options later this year.

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

Advanced Billing and Management Tools

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. It’s easy to change the settings for different data allowances, credit limits and content filters. Individual crewmembers 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.

Global Coverage, Worldwide Support, Lowest Cost of Ownership

EMC provides global coverage with reliable Ku-bandwidth and seamless beam handovers. EMC operates 21 fully meshed multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) interconnected teleports in the United States, Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. The company’s support centers around the world are staffed by EMC field engineers, augmented by a network of third-party service providers.

EMC’s compact hardware configurations provide a low cost of entry for ship managers, and EMC’s unmatched satellite-capacity buying power translates into the lowest-possible airtime rates for customers, according to Gillesen.

HTS Ready

“We believe our patented innovations like SpeedNet, our new services like Ku-band live TV and our global network infrastructure will put us in a good position to take full advantage of the HTS payloads as the new satellites come into service this year, allowing us to bring land-like communication, internet and entertainment to ships at sea,” said Gillesen.

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