Maritime Satellite Broadband Buying Guide

If you require access to the internet, need to transfer large amounts of data or make calls whilst at sea then we recommend satellite broadband terminals for maritime use. At Global Telesat Communications we sell a range of satellite broadband terminals for maritime use which operate on networks including Inmarsat, Iridium and Thuraya. They allow you to access the internet, corporate networks, send and receive emails and large files at speeds of up to 492 kbps, stream live video and even make voice calls.

If you’re looking to purchase a satellite broadband terminal for maritime use but don’t know where to start, our buying guide is here to help. The following information is designed to help you pick the right satellite terminal for your requirements.

Compare all our satellite terminals with our terminal comparison chart

If you need assistance before making a purchase please call us on 0800 112 3919 to discuss your requirements.

What equipment is available?

Global Telesat Communications offers a range of compact antennas and terminals designed specifically to deliver reliable maritime communications. They can be used on ocean going vessels and allow seafarers and vessel operators to keep in touch with shore-based networks via internet or telephone, whatever the conditions, from almost anywhere in the world.

The equipment capable of providing satellite broadband for maritime use generally consists of a dome shaped antenna which is attached to a permanent external structure on the vessel. Additionally, a below deck unit is provided to enable voice and data connectivity.

Which satellite terminal best suits my needs?

Global Telesat Communications offers the Iridium Pilot terminal and antenna and a range of FleetBroadband terminals with different antenna sizes to suit all vessels and budgetary requirements.

For basic communications requirements on smaller vessels we recommend an entry level terminal such as the Cobham Sailor 150.  This is a very small unit in size and offer standard IP speed of up to 150kbps. For larger vessels, higher data rates and multiple user options we recommend the Sailor 250 or Sailor 500 which offer standard IP speeds of up to 432 kbps and streaming IP of up to 256 kbps.

Which satellite networks can I use?

The two main network operators offering broadband services for ocean going vessels are Iridium and Inmarsat:

Iridium has the world's largest and only complete global commercial satellite constellation, providing complete coverage for ships at sea. From polar regions to any port on the planet, Iridium's OpenPort service is proven technology that works everywhere.
Inmarsat offers global coverage excluding the poles and is widely recognized as the world's leading provider of maritime communications. The company was founded for the purpose of establishing a satellite communications network for the maritime community and has been offering such services since 1979.

What are the airtime options?

Global Telesat Communications offers a range of flexible airtime options for Iridium Pilot terminal and FleetBroadband terminals. These include basic monthly plans with a small amount of inclusive data to large user plans which significantly lower costs per MB. Some plans have no minimum contract term. There is also now a pay as you go option for FleetBroadband users.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements in detail and we will recommend an airtime plan suitable for you.

About Inmarsat FleetBroadband

FleetBroadband is the first maritime communications service to provide cost-effective broadband data and voice, simultaneously, through a compact antenna on a global basis. FleetBroadband offers guaranteed data rates on demand up to 256 kbps and phone calls can be made at the same time as accessing data applications. FleetBroadband can be accessed globally, excluding the poles.

Find out more about Inmarsat FleetBroadband...

About Iridium OpenPort

Iridium OpenPort is the world's first and only truly global voice and data service engineered for the maritime market. OpenPort offers data speeds of up to 128 kbps and up to three independent voice lines. OpenPort presents a cost-competitive, high-speed communication alternative to end-users in the maritime market.

Find out more about Iridium OpenPort...

Find out more

Browse our range of satellite terminals or if you feel you need further information before you make your decision please contact us and we will be happy to help you.