AMITEC Infinity Cube Panel in Athens discusses the latest trends in satellite communications for IT Managers

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In Athens this November, Navarino held a panel discussion with AMMITEC, the Association of Maritime Managers in Maritime Technology, to present the Infinity Cube and to discuss the general trends seen in the Maritime satellite communications marketplace.

Attendees were able to see a full presentation of the Infinity Cube and its features, and then followed a very constructive panel discussion.

Two general trends were highlighted as most noticeable amongst the gathered maritime IT managers. The first was that more and more, shipping companies are looking for unlimited bandwidth airtime plans, which will enable higher data speeds. This is due to a combination of factors, mostly related to the greater business communication demands that seem to increase year by year, and of course the importance of offering crew welfare solutions which can provide them with connectivity at an affordable price. Crew retention was emphasized as an important driver here. The importance of being able to provide these greater bandwidths was highlighted alongside the need for a solid system on board which can provide redundancy as extremely important.

Another interesting and related trend which was raised was the fact that back up systems can cause very high bills at the end of the month, and so where possible the primary system needs to be as reliable as possible.

The discussion then turned to what new applications could be used on board in the near future, as members pointed out the things they would like to see on their ships soon. By far the top requirement was for low cost video calling to be made a reality at sea. With the High Throughput Satellites of Fleet Xpress just around the corner, and plans for crew video calling cards already in development this one could soon be made possible. The provision of television, sports programs, and movies on demand was also a popular request, again, something which will be brought nearer with the next generation of Inmarsat satellites.

For the operational side, the AMMITEC panel all agreed that being able to remotely monitor factors such as a vessels engine performance and fuel consumption, sensor diagnostics and the ability to check the signal strength of the satellite connection would all be very useful, and over time will become more and more in demand. E-learning, E-training, and ECDIS certification online over the satellite connection were also raised as possibilities for the future.

All these points were shared in a very useful forum, and Navarino would like to thank AMMITEC for the event. The Infinity team at Navarino is already working on incorporating some of the requests raised into Infinity so we shall no doubt be seeing these in an Infinity update soon!