Superyacht connectivity report forecasts surge in VSAT usage

25 September 2019: New research has revealed that 80 per cent of superyacht professionals surveyed expect to use VSAT for more than half the time on-board within the next five years.

Published in the newly launched 2019 Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report, the finding is among several significant insights that backs evidence of a substantial surge in VSAT connectivity usage on-board the superyacht fleet by 2024 as the desire for freedom to sail anywhere and everywhere augments the demand for continuous, global on-board connectivity.

Inmarsat has launched its second annual report, in association with The Superyacht Group, to gain a unique understanding of the future requirements for global, mobile satellite communications on superyachts by analysing input from superyacht skippers, senior crew, chief engineers and technical professionals on vessels ranging from 24m to over 100m.

Spend increase

Key findings from the 2019 Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report include:

  • Usage of large scale VSAT will increase – currently 46% of respondents, growing to 80% by 2024, are using VSAT more than 50% of the time on-board
  • Spend on satellite communication will increase – currently 34% of respondents spend between €5,000 and €20,000 annually, growing to 57% by 2024
  • Demand for IoT applications will increase – currently respondents predict IoT will account for 6.2% of operational connectivity demand, increasing to 24.7 per cent by 2024
  • Demand for TV over IP streaming will increase – currently 24% of respondents are using 50% or more of their connectivity use on TV over IP streaming, growing to 58% by 2024
  • Only 17% know the difference between Anti-Virus software and more secure endpoint protection
  • 5% of respondents say that no-one oversees cyber security on-board
  • More than 80% of respondents showed a lack of awareness about the most effective measures of cyber security

Higher growth

Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President, Yachting and Passenger, Inmarsat said: “Once again, it has been hugely beneficial and informative for us to work with the superyacht community to produce the annual Inmarsat Superyacht Connectivity Report. Underlining their needs for the future, the report ensures that we can match our services with their requirements by providing the best, most reliable connectivity at sea globally.

“As expected, the results confirm the expansion of digitalisation in the sector is gathering pace – but the level of projected growth in large scale VSAT usage and spend in the next five years is even higher than anticipated.

“The feedback on cyber security, a key factor in the future safety of these vessels, is particularly valuable for us in our continued work with superyacht professionals to provide more robust and accessible options. With the research confirming that most respondents are still not aware that an in-depth, multi-layer cyber defence is much more effective that a standard antivirus program, it is essential that we help to raise awareness in this area by working with captains and engineers.”

Cybersecurity solution

To help superyacht captains and crew maintain a secure system core on-board, Inmarsat has developed its Fleet Secure Portfolio to provide a comprehensive solution, consisting of three services:

  • Fleet Secure UTM (Unified Threat Management), which is a comprehensive set of tools designed to continuously inspect, detect and protect the vessel’s network
  • Fleet Secure Endpoint, a powerful multi-layered endpoint security solution to prevent attacks while removing infections and threats throughout the onboard endpoints
  • Fleet Secure Cyber Awareness, cyber security training specifically targeted for seafarers, raising awareness to assist in preventing threats before they get on board.

Inmarsat’s Yachting and Passenger portfolio includes the Fleet Xpress platform, which is powered by the Global Xpress Ka-band network, combined with the proven reliability of Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband L-band service. Benefits of Fleet Xpress include affordable voice calls, multiple voice options for crew and operations, and high-speed broadband for internet access, plus 24/7 online support by certified engineers. For superyacht clients, Fleet Xpress provides added subscription flexibility to meet seasonal demand changes.

The full report is available for download here.