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
Satellite connectivity is a fluctuating market depending on a multitude of external conditions influencing availability and pricing. While we strive to have a uniform ‘rate chart’ like many satellite providers, it is important to know what is available on the market and under which circumstances.
The cost of the satellite connection will be influenced from a technical level by the equipment used, size of antenna, power of transmitter, chosen frequency band, location and line of sight … but also by global conditions as satellite availability, political situations, emergency requirements, high demand, market saturation, and many more.
With the above in mind you can rest assured that we will have the flexibility to (almost) always beat the charts and offer you our quality and expertise.