Posted on July 29, 2016

Feeding your data hungry device…..

If it would take a surgical procedure to separate you from your smart phone then take heart – you are not alone.

A recent Google report claims that there are now over 2.6 billion smart phone users worldwide and that the vast majority of us can’t bear to be without them.

The report “Micro-moments” perhaps reinforces what we all know about the relationship smartphone users have with their mobile devices:

68% of phone users say they check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up.

87% always have their smartphone at their side, day, and night.

On average people check their phones 150 times per day and spend 177 minutes using them.

82% of smartphone users say they consult their phone during shopping in a physical location.

91% of users turn to their phones for ideas in the middle of a task.

Owners and guests are no exception: they expect seamless connectivity for their data hungry devices when they move from shore to yacht. The average smartphone user uses between 2.5 and 3GB of cellular data per month. Multiply that figure by the number of guests joining the yacht for the summer, plus crew, and you’ll have some idea of what to expect.

Communications integrator e3 Systems provides connectivity solutions tailored to suit the needs of any given yacht. Their HYBRID communication solution synchronises land and satellite communications to ensure seamless connectivity.

e3 Systems have been providing land and satellite communication services to yachts for 20 years and their market research indicates that the average yacht typically spends about 84% of its time inshore each year, in range of land based connectivity such as GSM, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE. More often than not, if the yacht does venture outside the 12 nm coastal limit, it returns to shore in the evening to enjoy shore based facilities such as restaurants and casinos.

This is when 3G and 4G come into their own and many yachts are now using these services to complement their satellite communications. One of the great pleasures of cruising in the Mediterranean is visiting all the different countries, exploring changing coastlines and experiencing different cultures. However, until recently the downside of using 3G and 4G in this cruising area is that yachts have had to change national data SIM cards each time they enter another county, or risk incurring very high roaming charges with a massive bill!

The long awaited proposal by the European Parliament to eliminate roaming charges in Europe is expected to take effect from June 2017, however, e3 Systems have pre-empted the change by offering a Vodafone Data Roaming SIM which covers 40 countries, including the popular cruising grounds of the Mediterranean.

Launched just over a month ago, many yachts are already using this service and the feedback has been excellent. It works on 3G and 4G around the whole of the Mediterranean at considerably reduced rates and up to 1 Terabyte of data per month – going a long way towards supporting the needs of charter guests who typically use up to 3GBs per month.

Once set up for the summer there is no need to change SIMs or settings when moving from country to country, and monthly upgrades or downgrades can be applied as required.

This 3G and 4G for yachts service can be used using standard routers or with the e3.Unite aggregator which is powered by Cellweaver. This means that 4 SIMs can be combined together to create up to a 100Mbps data connection. Once this is set up, no reconfiguring is needed and you can enjoy a hassle free data SIM summer.

This system will complement any satellite system the yacht has on board and, when inshore, heavy data usage such as streaming TV or uploading and downloading photos can be done using the aggregator, which is both faster and cheaper than using the satellite system.

So, if your guests arrive glued to their phones, make sure the galley is well stocked and you have enough bytes to feed their data hungry devices.