- Satellite Evolution
Xpand portfolio: Advanced Starlink connectivity for yachting
As IEC Telecom Group continues its commitment to expanding digitalisation at sea, this week the satcom expert is heading to Palma International Boat Show to showcase its new connectivity solution, aiming to transform the quality of service on board leisure vessels.
Yacht owners are investing heavily in connectivity infrastructures. The latest Superyacht Connectivity Report reveals that 74% of yacht owners expect to increase their satcom budget by 25% by 2025. Considering that 47% of the world’s yacht trips are based in the Mediterranean Sea, PIBS is the perfect backdrop to showcase the latest solution in the field.
Xpand Portfolio is a new all-inclusive satcom solution by IEC Telecom. Powered by Starlink and enhanced by a range of proprietary value-added services - such as reliable back-up, 24/7 support, and optimised applications – the new solution manages vessel and guest connectivity in real-time.
Gwenaël Lohéac, Chief Procurement Officer and President of Europe & West Africa at IEC Telecom Group, explains: “With Starlink now offering global maritime coverage, yachtsmen and women today can enjoy fast speed connectivity wherever they set sail. However, speed is only one of the parameters. Functionality and management of the system are crucial to ensure the best user experience on board. This is exactly what Xpand is made for.”
Browsing social media, connecting to video calls, or streaming Netflix, yacht operators expect to enjoy the same lifestyle at sea as at home. While technically both VSAT and LEO-based terminals can meet these requirements, data-consuming entertainment can potentially monopolise networks and affect the work of vessel critical systems connected to the web. Pre-equipped with a network management system, Xpand mitigates such risks. The captain can now monitor and manage network resources in real-time via a user-friendly dashboard. In addition, Xpand offers a range of remote solutions for more complicated interventions, such as maintenance or system upgrades.
Xpand provides a bespoke onboard information system to satisfy the demands of the most sophisticated users. This technology allows synchronised reading from multiple devices and gives guests access to a range of useful information such as route, weather, menus, announcements from the captain etc., via individual customised dashboards.
“The face of the yachting industry is changing and satcom connectivity needs to evolve to meet the needs of new and very connected generations,” Mr Loheac comments. “We’re excited to bring Xpand to the yachting sector and are confident it provides the future-proof solution that tech-savvy yacht operators are searching for.”