Global Satellite Internet

Satellite connections come in different packages and prices, usually from expensive to very expensive.

The global satellite market has been dominated by L-Band services for the last decades.  These services were, and still are, slow and very expensive (cost per MB easily exceeding 10USD).

Over the last decade Ku-Band services have become more popular due to their higher speed (10 and more Mbps in Ku-Band vs 430 Kbps in L-Band)

The early implementers of VSAT services in the maritime usually combined both L-Band and Ku-Band systems because Ku-Band coverage was far from global and this allowed them to still continue to charge L-Band like prices.

As you can see on the Satmarin Global coverage map based on 1M Ku-Band VSAT Antennas,  Ku-Band coverage is practically global (except the poles) and Ka-Band, although not global yet, is expanding rapidly.

The choice whether Ku-Band should (still) be combined with and L-Band backup (Inmarsat, Iridium or Thuraya) is to be analyzed on a case by case basis, yet the availability and reliability of Ku, and its much lower cost, make it a possible stand-alone choice using L-Band solely for GMDSS.

If you still want to be able to rely on an unlimited amount of L-Band connectivity (still slow but at least not metered) then your most likely option is to consider Inmarsat’s Global Express which offers a Ka-Band service with unlimited L-Band backup.  As their Ka-Band coverage is not yet fully deployed at time of writing they (can/have to) offer unlimited (much slower) L-Band backup.  Whether this will stay unlimited once Ka-Coverage is more extensive remains to be seen.

If you are confident, like we are, that global Ku-Band coverage is perfect for you then you can consider a Ku-Band only solution (or eventually with a just-for-emergency L-Band backup.

The most important aspect is to think about what you want to achieve with your connection and what you need in terms of bandwidth/speed to achieve this (antenna, modems, routers, firewalls, switches, …), and we are here to assist you in making the right choice, be it in Ku, Ka, C, X or L-Band