Summer is heating up here in Mallorca, and we’re welcoming thousands of tourists by sea and by air. A huge number of hire cars are on the road increasing traffic, parking congestion and the occasional bout of road rage. Island-based yachts have already started their seasons and yachts from other locations have started to cruise the islands. It’s all looking great for another busy Balearic season.
Our simple-to-use Med Roaming GSM SIM is very popular this summer
The most popular communications solution we have provided to yachts starting the season is our Med Roaming SIM for 3G & 4G services. This is a single SIM that works throughout Europe and further and uses almost every network in each country:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (inc Faroe Is), Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Cyprus, Norway, Poland, Portugal (inc Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (inc Canary Is), Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK.
The SIM can be left in the router for the whole summer without any need to change the APN. The cost is the same from country to country and the tariffs start at 20GB per month but can be contracted to 1TB a month! A couple of yachts have signed up for this huge data allowance already this year. You can have a number of SIMs on a single contract to use on a fleet of yachts, so that they can all dip into the same data pool.
It’s simple to use as it can be contracted monthly or annually, and upgraded and downgraded from one tariff to another very simply.
The Med SIM synchronizes with our HYBRID solution
Our HYBRID solution synchronizes the data from our Med SIM service with our VSAT satellite service data. It allows the yacht to use both simultaneously, but also to select the fastest and least expensive connection as appropriate.
Once installed around the yacht, our cyber secure HYBRID network makes sure everyone can connect securely, but also manages who can connect and what they can do.
HYBRID VoIP telephone lines use the VSAT and 3G/4G connections
Another popular service we have introduced is our HYBRID Voice over IP (VoIP) service that uses all the connections of the yacht. This is unique as all VoIP services today are tied to the satellite service provider. This means that if you have your VSAT turned off the VoIP telephone lines no longer work. Also if you change your VSAT service provider your VoIP telephone numbers will change, so all the yacht’s contact information, print and digital, has to change. You can have multiple telephone lines and each could be a local number in different countries.
HYBRID Country Assignment
As with assigning each telephone line to be a local line in each country, we can also make the data system throughout the yacht reflect the nationality of the owner’s home country. This means that, for example, when browsing Amazon or Netflix you get the local services from the owner’s home country and can therefore access books and movies in the correct language and currency.
Summer TV services
Together with our HYBRID communication services we have been activating a large number of TV services on yachts for the summer months. Every year we expect the demand for traditional satellite TV services to slow down, but it keeps on growing. As I mentioned in this column last month, these days the trend is to watch TV when we want to. Consumers want to watch what they want at a convenient time for them. They want original and plentiful content and they want it at their convenience on the device of their choice.
What seems to be happening on yachts this year is that traditional TV services are now being supplemented by IPTV services. This is being encouraged by the fact that the traditional English-language services are not always available throughout the whole of the Med.
We now have UK, Russian and US legal IPTV services, to name but a few. Be aware that the big TV pay service providers, including Sky, are cracking down on the huge number of illegal IPTV services that give away their sports and movie channels.
What connections to use for IPTV?
The ideal way to get IPTV to work is by using our Med Roaming SIM bandwidth. To start with, it is faster and less expensive than satellite. An IPTV stream consumes just over 1GB per hour, so a 20GB/m SIM can provide 20 hours of TV for €130/m.
Likewise, the new Kymeta flat panel satellite airtime service Kalo has a fantastically low price for their airtime. For example, for $378/m you will get 10 hours of TV connectivity via satellite.
So, if you have an e3 HYBRID solution with our 3G/4G service and the satellite system, using our new Kymeta flat panel with the Kalo airtime, then you can have 30 hours of streamed IPTV every month, anywhere in the world, for only €508. The number of viewing hours can be increased and decreased and the service available is your choice.
Kymeta flat satellite panels – sea trials update
As mentioned last month, “The first Kymeta flat panels set sail on a yacht”, our sea trials on yachts and maritime vessels have begun. This is a very exciting time and we are already seeing some great results.
As I mentioned in the middle of May, we installed the first Kymeta panel on SY Prototype yacht A in the Caribbean. This yacht has sailed for a little while in the Caribbean and then onto Bermuda, then plans to cross to the Med at the end of the month. We conducted some, crystal clear, live Facetime calls with the yacht when she was in the middle of the Bermuda triangle.
Kymeta panels have also been installed on MY Prototype B in mid-June, and we will be monitoring progress closely during their summer Mediterranean cruise. Watch this space for further details.
A third fast 50+ knot yacht, Prototype C, has been tested at those speeds in 5 foot seas and the antenna tracking was perfect. Even when the yacht was idling, pitching and rolling, the antenna didn’t blink.
A fourth test, Prototype vessel D, will take place on a commercial vessel starting in July around the Caribbean.
So, we have an intensive set of trials in progress over the next few months. The tests involve different vessels in different sea states, in different environments with different configurations, single and multiple panels, testing on different satellites with different technical features and elevations. We will also be testing the new Kalo airtime service as this goes live, as well as airtime from other service providers. There’s a lot going on!
All the initial results look very promising indeed, in fact better than we expected. Of course there are a few teething problems, but then that is what we are looking to identify before commercial availability.
Bon voyage to all on the sea, the best place to be in the summer!
Roger Horner of e3 Systems
For further information on any of the above, please contact us.
email on firstname.lastname@example.org and website www.e3s.com
Tel: +34 971 404 208