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It’s not the food, the décor, the size of the bedrooms or the staff. A recent survey by Voyager IP revealed that the top client charter complaint is the lack of a fast internet (VSat) connection.
Tripp Hock, captain of the MY Amore Mio said, “It’s an absolute necessity to have good, stable, fast internet on board. While many other issues relating to the operation of a yacht can go unnoticed by the guests, there is no way to hide a frustratingly slow VSat connection at sea.”
The captains were also asked if the availability of a fast internet connection is now more important than ever before, in terms of securing client charters. Tripp Hock responded, “Absolutely, and the primary reason for this is the shift in TV content delivery. Those yachts which are not using a stable and reliable Ka VSat service are going to be impacted as guests continue the move from satellite TV to streaming content.”
All those surveyed rated reliability as the most important aspect of their Ka VSat service from Voyager IP. Sergey Nikiforov, captain of the Galactica Plus commented, “Aside from social media and entertainment, our clients demand frequent access to business and financial news. Our internet connection must be stable and reliable, with upload and download speeds comparable to on-shore providers, and backed up by great support whenever we need it. “
Ka technology differs from the traditional Ku band satellite internet in that instead of a large ‘footprint’, it uses multiple spot beams to provide overlapping coverage. Voyager IP, partnered with Telenor, offers the Ka service with lower bandwidth costs than those of the Ku and C band service currently on the market.
Nick Allen is the fleet manager for Rix Shipping, operators of crew transfer vessels to the offshore industry. He commented, “While not always the first concern, clients expect proper communications when they have a vessel on contract and they assume this will be like a shore side connection. Therefore, it is important to have a service in place that meets that expectation.”
Tripp Hock added “In more than three years with Voyager IP as my VSat service provider of choice, I can both recommend to others and take comfort myself that my guests’ data appetites will be satisfied!”
Marine telecom provider Voyager IP and Digicel have partnered to launch FlexiSIM, the first 3G/4G/LTE re-loadable data SIM card for yachts and leisure craft. The cards will initially launch in the Caribbean. Recharged through a portal on the Voyager IP website, they will be sold at competitive rates of US$10 per gigabyte.
Voyager IP research estimates monthly 3G/4G connectivity usage costs between US$500 and US$1,300 on superyachts and other leisure craft. Many users have six or twelve month contracts that require upfront payment, regardless of data consumed. Until this partnership, the only alternative was to buy packs of PAYG data SIM cards when vessels arrived in major ports. Due to excessive consumption of data, this alternative was expensive and inefficient.
Mark Elliott, Managing Director of Voyager IP said, “Until now, connectivity solutions for the superyacht and leisure craft market were outdated, expensive and inconvenient. FlexiSIM cards add convenience, putting our customers in full control to manage their costs. Given the changes in EU legislation, it is advisable to evolve from long-term contracts for connectivity.”
Declan Cassidy, Chief Executive Officer, Digicel Diaspora Miami added, “We are happy to partner with Voyager IP, as it gives us the opportunity to address an important need. This is a top-quality, yet cost-effective connectivity solution for our growing base of marine-based clients in the Caribbean.”
About Voyager IP
Voyager IP was founded in 2014 by a team of IT and marine telecoms specialists. It specializes in maritime VSAT, Inmarsat, VOIP, 3G/4G internet solutions, on-board entertainment and global telecommunication systems for superyachts, cruise ships, commercial vessels and offshore platforms. IP and the National Space Centre in Cork jointly manage the global satellite communications contract for the Irish Naval Service, the first all-Irish providers to do so.
About Digicel Group
Digicel Group is a total communications and entertainment provider with operations in 33 markets across the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After more than 15 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network. Digicel also runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Haiti, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programs.
For more information about FlexiSIM, contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org
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