The global supply chain of all food/ water/ other supplies is enabled by merchant shipping on all oceans around the world. Thousands of vessels rely on unrivalled end-to-end service availability and coverage for operational communications, safety services provided by satellites and for crew welfare. While maritime satellite links are in L-band, all the feeder links are in the lower C-band 3.4 - 3.6 GHz.

Communications often need to be maintained over wide areas of the globe, for example, for ships, aircraft and people on the move. This requires global 'mobile' or 'on the halt' communications coverage all around the world. Satellite communications are now fitted as standard to 98% of merchant vessels.


How satellites keep us safe at sea

Satellites are the only means of communication for ships at sea and planes in the air. They enable coastguards to save lives as well as governments combat piracy on the high seas and manage border control

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A EuroNews story in partnership with the European Space Agency October 2015


How it works

Mobile satellite systems preserve the lives of seafarers, enabling ship to shore communications as well as contributing to the safety of navigation and the vessel itself by enhancing situational awareness. Downloading navigation chart updates over mobile broadband can be achieved via satellite, in addition to exchanging voyage, fuel consumption, weather and other business process data with shore. Mobile satellite communications for ships also enable proper reporting for ships and trawlers who are required to comply with fishing quotas.

Ship tracking and security/anti-piracy capabilities are already advanced through satellite with numerous commercial operators already playing a very active role in protecting the commercial interests of the ship operators through optimised routing. Thanks to satellites one can obtain ship position, receive safety advisory messages, and communicate, including emergency calls, request support from air and receive support to anti-piracy actions.

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