From the limited capabilities to send SOS messages to full video streaming and live conferencing… How Broadband Satellite Connectivity reshapes Maritime Industry?


New technology always contributes in making a positive difference in our lives. For many years, we have enjoyed the wide broadband internet connectivity that made our lives much easier.  Through this technology, the whole world became a small village in our hands. We were privileged enough to witness this revolution and enjoy “what is possible” in the broadband satellite connectivity world. However, 5 years ago this was not the case for people who were working in the sea and spending long time off land. They had very limited connection services, they could only send the SOS messages, text emails without attachments and very limited browsing ability.

By Hudoob Younis                     

Mr. Nabil Ben Soussia, the Managing Director of IEC Telecom Middle East and Kazakhstan exclusively took Marasi News through the revolution journey from the limited messages sending to a full access to internet and Netflix services.

Human commitment towards innovation led telecommunication companies come up with a better solutions to maritime projects and seafarers who are spending their lives in the oceans. IEC Telecom in cooperation with its partners in the Middle East Yahsat, Thuraya and Inmarsat made a difference in the maritime telecommunication field. Mr. Ben Soussia elaborated on the difference that this evolution has made saying: “Through hardworking and commitment we managed to make a difference in the maritime field. People now can enjoy full access to internet where they can do video conferencing and online streaming along with video calls and the ability to connect to the world on shore.”

Benefits to the maritime business

This innovation had a superb impact on the maritime sector. It contributed in providing better communication and more safety. It also enabled monitoring remotely, providing better support to core business and the ability to deploy new solutions through fast connections which in turn had an impact on the welfare of the employees. Not to forget that providing the high-speed connectivity is essential to support the safest and most efficient vessel operations, anywhere in the world. In parallel, it will match the personal connectivity needs of even the most demanding modern seafarer, delivering services previously available only on shore.

Crew Welfare

The broadband Satellite Connectivity allowed crew to stay in touch with family and friends, via social media, video calls and affordable voice calls. All of these services are available through Inmarsat fleet Xpress or Thuraya Orion Edge. With this technology, crews are motivated to spend less time on land. It is extremely important to retain good qualified crew to the operational success of a vessel, and a happy crew is more likely to stay loyal to the company.

Supporting Humanitarian projects

Technology is there to serve the human being at its best. Satellite communications provide humanitarian teams with reliable and rapidly deployable solutions wherever they are located, even in the most isolated areas and extreme conditions. This essential connectivity allows frontline staff to rapidly and efficiently coordinate first response to disasters or emergency situations.

Mr. Ben Soussia clarified: “We are a main enabler to humanitarian projects. We provide communication for mobile hospitals and ready kits to on ground people and rescue teams. We also worked with UN to help secure real life in camps by providing biometric ID for refugees, streamline food and aids supplies, enable micro-economies for refugees since the average lifetime for persons there is 17 years and we helped in enabling education, internet access and the sustainable communication.”

It is amazing what technology can do as the current rise of autonomous ships worldwide has shifted the UAE maritime industry into a new phase. However, everybody is wondering if technology can reach the stage when it can totally replace human power!