Sailing and exploring the world on a yacht is a thrilling experience. However, this experience can be quickly spoiled by connectivity issues.
In one case, a superyacht owner wanted seamless and reliable connectivity throughout his upcoming international voyage with his family.
By adopting Peplink’s maritime networking solutions, the owner was able to set sail on his tour without compromising on connectivity.
Cellular & Satellite Data Services on Yachts – Pros and Cons
In coastal waters, people on yachts stay connected through affordable, fast 5G and LTE networks. However, when venturing further out to the sea, cellular connectivity drops very quickly. With basic antennas, it takes only a short distance from the shore to completely lose cellular connectivity. SIM cards which enable cellular connections are region-specific.
When voyaging across different regions, SIM cards in routers will need replacing to match the local provider. Each SIM card is limited to one connection at a time with one cellular provider. Single-cellular technology without redundancy can lose connectivity even if there is cellular coverage but with a different provider. Where there isn’t any cellular network coverage, users must rely on satellite connections.
Satellite networking offers adequate coverage, but it is much slower and more expensive. As the available wireless data service changes during a voyage, users must change between cellular and satellite connections. This changeover is often an inconvenient procedure.
Keeping a Yacht Connected with Cellular Data
A superyacht owner wanted to take his yacht on an extended tour across several countries. Throughout the journey, he and his family needed to remain connected for work, schooling, and entertainment. This requires high bandwidth so that each person could use the network concurrently.
Having done such cruises before, the owner wanted to avoid the usual problems he faced with connectivity on board. He wanted a high-quality and seamless experience, as one would expect onshore. Although cellular data worked well near the coast, he wanted to be able to use cellular data as much as possible at sea, too. If the network had to fall back on satellite connections, he wanted the changeover to be managed in an effortless way. As he travelled through different regions, he wanted to easily change over to different SIM cards.
The solution? Peplink!
Comprehensive Networking Solution with SpeedFusion Technologies
Peplink has the hardware and software to meet all wireless data and networking requirements, both at sea and on land. The custom-tailored solution to fulfil the yacht owner’s requirements required the installation of three component groups.
A maritime networking solution can only be as good as the signals it receives. Thus, the signals must be captured, and transmitted by strong and reliable antennas. No signal – no connection. Simple as that. Peplink offers an entire series of ultra-high gain maritime antennas of varied sizes and ranges.
In this case, four Maritime 10 antennas were installed on the yacht. These maritime antennas can receive and transmit signals over longer distances. With a wide bandwidth, Maritime 10 antennas can deliver high performance in all bands for the best 5G and LTE connections at sea.
The modern, sleek, compact design makes it a perfect fit for yachts.
The cellular signals need to be processed by compatible routers that match the network type (5G or LTE) and the size of the yacht.
Only one MAX Transit Duo Pro dual-cellular router was required to build a robust network on the owner’s yacht. This capable but compact router features Wi-Fi 6 technology, offering blazing fast speeds. In marinas that offer Wi-Fi, the router can connect to the marina’s Wi-Fi and broadcast the signals onboard using Wi-Fi as WAN technology. This means the devices on board can use the same network, without having to directly connect to it.
With dual-cellular modems, the router can:
• Have two cellular connections and aggregate them for combined bandwidth by using Bandwidth Bonding.
• Provide SIM redundancy for enhanced reliability.
With SD-WAN as a Service, the router builds a SpeedFusion tunnel to one of SpeedFusion’s nodes for an unbreakable, robust connection.
With WAN Smoothing technology using intelligent algorithms to fill connectivity gaps, users can enjoy crystal-clear streaming or VoIP activities.
Hot Failover enables the cellular connection to fail over to a satellite connection automatically. This allows for the highest possible uptime and always-on connectivity. The switch is unnoticeable to the user and requires no manual intervention.
As the yacht travels across different regions, appropriate SIM cards must be used that are compatible with the local service providers. For easy SIM card management, Peplink’s SIM Injector offers eight SIM card slots. By connecting the SIM Injector to the MAX Transit Duo Pro, the yacht owner can simply choose whichever SIM he wants for the router to rely on. Only one SIM Injector with eight slots was required for this project. However, SIM Injectors can be combined to multiply the number of available SIM card slots.
Customer Feedback on Peplink Networking Technologies
The yacht owner and his family set sail on their first voyage with Peplink’s technologies from the Netherlands to Ireland – first of many stops.
Immediately we received positive feedback from the customer:
• Only a few cellular blackspots at sea. The system flawlessly failed over to the satellite connection in the blackspots.
• Extremely consistent and high-speed cellular connectivity whenever there is a cellular signal.
• Convenient and seamless switching between SIM cards from one region to another.
The owner was able to continue the rest of his cruise with his family while remaining connected to the world outside.