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  • Satellite Evolution Group

IEC Telecom unveils a new maritime LEO-based solution in the Philippines

Photo courtesy of IEC Telecom

With high-speed, low latency, reliable and cost-effective connectivity, low earth orbit satellites are transforming maritime communications and the Asia Pacific region is set to benefit, says satcom specialist IEC Telecom.

IEC Telecom will showcase the benefits of LEO connectivity to the Philippine maritime sector when it takes part in this week’s PhilMarine show. PhilMarine gathers key national stakeholders and international specialists to exchange ideas, develop partnerships and draw a roadmap towards achieving the nation’s 2028 transport vision, the Maritime Industry Development Plan (MIDP).

Nabil Ben Soussia, Group COO of IEC Telecom, commented: “The MIDP has an ambitious agenda, and to meet its targets will require new policies and regulations, as well as significant technological advancement. Satellite telecommunication has a key role to play here in enabling this development.

“At this fast-moving time it’s important to remember that maritime digitalisation’s success depends on carefully considered implementation. Satcom on board is not only about the hardware or network coverage; it’s about a connectivity system that remains operational at all times, enabling business continuity and reliable crew welfare,” he said.

As the world’s leading supplier of ships’ crew, The Philippines is at the heart of the maritime world and keen to embrace the many opportunities offered by the rapidly growing LEO sector. For the crew, this revolution signals opportunities such as faster access to the internet, real-time communication with home, workplace support, and comprehensive e-learning programmes.

While digitalisation is the key to future changes, crews are the change-makers. As new generations join the workforce, access to connectivity has become a ‘must have’ factor. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dell (TrueList, 2023), technology is a deciding factor in as many as 91% of Gen Z job decisions, highlighting satcom’s key role in talent attraction and retention.

Recognising these trends, IEC Telecom is in the Philippines to present its latest LEO/GEO hybrid solution: Xpand Maritime. Powered by Starlink, Xpand supports heavy-consuming business and welfare applications. Should the prime link go down, the system will be automatically switched to an L-band network with a set of optimised applications, supporting digital operations in a low bandwidth environment both for critical operations and crew communication.

Xpand comes with advanced information communication and technology (ICT) toolkit, including remote network management, a crew voucher system, and a wide range of value-added services. The whole set-up can be tested, updated or upgraded seamlessly while the vessel continues its course. By optimising the operational cycle onboard, Xpand helps to decrease costs and reduce the vessel’s carbon footprint.

Importantly, Xpand also offers many cyber-security add-ons, from basic cyber shields to fully encrypted communication channels, making it invaluable for special operations at sea too.

“We are delighted to unveil the Xpand portfolio to the Philippines and Asia-Pacific region,” said Mr Ben Soussia. “This smart solution has been designed to harness the benefits of LEO connectivity. These are exciting times for satellite communications and we’re looking forward to working with many sectors of the maritime community to help them progress their digital journey.”


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