Satellite connectivity specialist IEC Telecom has strengthened its offering for the sailing and yachting sector with the opening of a new office in Lorient, France, and the launch of OneGate Marine Compact – a new lightweight digital solution which is ideal for leisure and racing boats.
Located in Brittany on the Atlantic coast and boasting a dedicated long dock for ocean-going competitive boats, Lorient is often called France’s yachting headquarters. Opening a new office here enables IEC Telecom to fully focus on this important sector, providing a range of telecommunication solutions to meet all needs.
Brittany’s boating sector generates a revenue of €205 million and employs 1,536 people, while competition sailing in France generates a turnover of €56 million, with 711 jobs tied to it in 162 companies. This ecosystem includes more than 160 industrial and service companies, skippers, racing teams, research laboratories and training courses, provides a variety of skills.
The launch of OneGate Marine Compact enables IEC Telecom to bring the very latest in digital connectivity to the leisure sector, providing optimum connectivity in an affordable and easily installed format.
OneGate Marine Compact is an agile, lightweight, highly-adaptable and easy-to-install digital communications system which gives complete access to the benefits of digital connectivity even on smaller vessels – making it ideal for racing boats and leisure craft.
According to the 2018 Inmarsat study, the top three connectivity requirements among yacht owners are: speed, bandwidth volume and price.
OneGate Compact particularly addresses yacht owners’ particular requirements by:
Speed: Thanks to TCP acceleration and Data compression of the main communication and file transfer applications, the end users will enjoy a better experience and far more efficient communication link.
Bandwidth: Satcom connectivity is a valuable resource that should be used with the maximum of efficiency. OneGate Compact allows the end users to make the most of the available bandwidth. Even with a large set of users, the OneGate Compact system maximises bandwidth usage to avoid spending your resources and money on unnecessary and unwanted usage.
Price: OneGate Compact helps keep connectivity costs down for yacht owners. OneGate has an embedded 3G/4G module which ensure fast connectivity whenever it is available. Through its in-built failover service, the OneGate Compact terminal ensures uninterrupted switching between satellite L-band to 3G/4G using least-cost routing, allowing the end-users to use the best available network with seamless transition between both.
This flexibility is important because 87% of the year yachts sail within 20km of the shore and so do not need access to costly satellite links. In addition, 41% say that 3G/4G is their main method for providing onboard entertainment while cruising. Therefore having a hybrid solution which can switch seamlessly between GSM and VSAT communications to ensure best and most economic performance and use of data is an important factor.
For superyacht users, it is important for guests to have access to excellent personal connectivity. Research shows that 38% of superyacht satcoms traffic is for the owner and guests, with 37% used by crew and only 25% utilised for operational systems. OneGate Compact incorporates an integrated voucher system which can generate individual passcodes for guests to enjoy connectivity while on board, thus making sure that guests do not utilise corporate traffic and vice versa.
OneGate Marine Compact’s virtual dashboard facilitates the upgrading and updating of its systems remotely by shore-based staff, which saves on the time and costs of sending an engineer to access the vessel as well as providing additional flexibility to amend the system to meet connectivity needs in real time. This is a particularly important factor at this current time where Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and quarantine measures make access to vessels difficult.
Announcing these new developments, Gwenael Loheac, CEO Western & Southern Europe, IEC Telecom Group, said: “IEC Telecom is well established in the racing and yachting sectors. We know this market very well and what our customers require. They want the same level of connectivity at sea as they have in the office, they want to have more bandwidth, dedicated software and systems, and they want to save money.”
“OneGate Compact will help the sailor to have a better quality of service and to save money. Up until now this type of box was only available to bigger vessels. With this Compact version we are able to introduce new services to the racing and leisure boat markets and to bring the benefits of digitalisation to them.”