SingTel – BT

SingTel offers cheaper broadband solution for ships

SINGTEL is making innovative use of technology to bring down the cost of high speed broadband services at sea which can potentially save up to US$120,000 in infrastructure costs per vessel.

The first in Asia solution was launched this week and aims to reach out initially to the existing fleet of at least 1,500 vessels in the Asia-Pacific region that are already equipped with television receive only (TVRO) antennae with an expected market share of 5 per cent to 10 per cent within three years. Other potential users include floatel operators and interest may even extend down to the so-called middle segment of smaller bulk carriers and high-end yachts.

The solution offers unlimited broadband connectivity with a download speed of 2Mbps, and is available on a subscription basis from US$1,999 per month. Its development was co-funded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund.

‘In the past, the cost of satellite infrastructure prevented many maritime companies from equipping their ships with high-speed broadband services,’ said executive vice-president of Business Group Bill Chang.

Not only will the cost of equipment be reduced but data costs will also come down with SingTel offering an affordable package. ‘We are the only telco and satellite operator that has now integrated this in a commercial offering,’ said vice-president of Satellite Titus Yong.

SingTel’s current satellite provides good coverage in the Asia-Pacific and with the launch of its new satellite within a year, this will be extended to the Mediterranean area as well. SingTel is in talks with another satellite operator to provide North American coverage, which should be tied up soon, Mr Yong revealed.

Among the services that will become possible with the new service is SingTel’s recently launched suite of entertainment services including the first-of-its-kind Karaoke-On-Demand service. In addition, seafarers can also enjoy a wide selection of movies and content with SingTel’s maritime video-on-demand service.

Other possible applications include e-learning programmes, downloading of e-books and web-based TV content.

SingTel is also working with local content providers from the countries where ships’ crews predominantly come from such as the Philippines to provide more programming from home.

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