Wireless communications on oceangoing vessels have been in use for over 100 years but reliability, quality and data rates were poor for decades. In the 1970s, new satellites made reliable voice and data communications services available for the first time across the oceans.
Today over 300,000 ships have access to satellite communications for navigation, distress, safety, crew services, vessel operations and broadband access for passengers. In addition, thousands of aircraft – commercial, business and government – use satellite communications for broadband, navigation and to support flight operations.
Mobile satcom is transitioning from narrowband services, typically provided by L-band satellites, to broadband communications typically provided by satellites operating in Ku-band, Ka-band and C-band . With powerful Ku-band capacity over the oceans provided by satellite operators like Telesat , passengers on ships and aircraft now use their mobile devices for high speed communications just as they do at home or work.
Shipping companies have come to view broadband satellite as essential for improving operations, boosting crew morale and deriving other benefits. Commercial aircraft are also rapidly adopting broadband satellite services. Demand across the aviation industry is being driven by technical advances in service capabilities and equipment design. Using tail or roof mounted antennas, data can be streamed by satellite to-and-from aircraft while in flight. Real-time broadband applications are now as common in the cabin as the airport lounge, even for flights crossing the oceans.
Telesat has helped grow the mobility services market with oceanic beams on Telstar 11N and Telstar 14R. These satellites, along with Telstar 12 VANTAGE and our new Telstar 19 VANTAGE, form Telesat’s industry leading Atlantic Ocean mobile coverage, providing seamless capacity from the Bosporus through to Panama. The high performance of Telesat’s Ku-band capacity is meeting needs across a spectrum of demand.