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DECIPHERING

B R O A D B A N D AT S E A

NO. 6 IN THE SERIES

The ITC Manager's Checklist


for Effective Maritime
SATCOM Solutions
The ITC Manager's Checklist for Effective
Maritime SATCOM Solutions

Table of Contents

The Two Big Questions to Ask..1


The Basics .2
Finance.2
Operations.3
Safety and Quality4
Human Resources/Crewing..5
Security6
IT and Communications..6
Service and Support..7
Engineering .8
Business Development..8
Seafarers.9
Best Practices and Considerations for Choosing a Service..10
Which Approach to Airtime Service Plans is Right for You? ...11
The Big Picture for Onboard Data Use = A Viable Specification for Your Service Needs..13
The ITC Manager's Checklist for Effective
Maritime SATCOM Solutions

Your Mission: Deliver a satellite communications solution for your vessel or fleet that meets
your operational needs, budget requirements, and is a success with everyone at sea and on shore.

The Winning Formula: Vessel communication needs + content required = amount of


bandwidth and functionality required.

Step 1: Survey Your Stakeholders


Vessel Officers Finance
Crew IT Staff
Operations Managers Business Development
Crewing/Manning Managers Security and Safety Team
Engineers Service and Support
Executives

So what do they want and what do you need to deliver?


Here are a few ideas to get you started:

The Two Big Questions to Ask Your Stakeholders:


1. What is the minimum requirement for what you absolutely need?
2. What would you want if I could deliver everything you need?

How to Use this Checklist:


This checklist offers a guide to questions for each stakeholder group to get everyone thinking
about what functions they really need and others that might
not have been considered yet. Easily check those areas that apply and take notes regarding your
stakeholders' feedback.

This optimized PDF is designed for use both as a printed document as well as an interactive
document on a tablet, laptop, etc. The end result will be a comprehensive look at the potential
features and requirements across your fleet
and organization.

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 1


The Basics
Where will your vessels be operating? __ Coastal __ Regional __ Global
Choosing a service that supports not only your current operational areas but also anticipates expansion is
vital to ensuring effective operations and protecting the value of your SATCOM investment.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Who has access to the existing SATCOM system? __ Operations __ Crew __ Both

Is that expected to change with the new solution?


Operational access to broadband connections is vital to the success and safety of the vessel. However, the
expectations for access by the crew are rapidly increasing and need to be accounted for in your plans. Check out
Deciphering Broadband at Sea: Connectivity A Critical Element in Seafarer Recruitment and Retention
for more details.
Focus: Crew Welfare

Finance
How much data does each vessel currently use? _____MB/month
Understanding your current data usage provides a baseline for minimal operations, especially as many legacy
services have slow speeds and high per MB costs that lead to serious constraints on usage.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

How much data do you expect each vessel to use with a new SATCOM
system? _____MB/month
When a new Internet connection is available with higher speeds and lower costs, people naturally want to
consume that capacity. Understanding your true data needs and expectations for operations, crew, and more,
is critical to selecting the right service and airtime package.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Will crew access (phone and/or data) be a requirement for the new solution?
Figuring out the balance between operations and crew access, the data demands, managing that data, and
staying on budget can be a challenge. Deciphering Broadband at Sea: Getting Your Maritime Connectivity
Strategy Right Challenges and Best Practices offers some valuable insights.
Focus: Crew Welfare

Notes

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 2


What is your current monthly budget allocation for SATCOM service? ________

What is your current per MB cost? ________


Odds are, you have a monthly budget per vessel for data use with your existing SATCOM system. Be certain
you have a clear understanding of the monthly spend AND how much data, how many voice minutes, and
what kind of operational and entertainment content you are able to get for that investment now. Use that
information to determine if a new approach really is giving you more for your money.
Focus: Cost and Consumption

What is your expected monthly spend on SATCOM service? ________


What is your target per MB cost? ________
Will your budget be increasing? Remaining the same? Scaling back? Modern SATCOM systems offer per MB
costs that are an order of magnitude lower than typical older, slower services (pennies vs. $20 per MB or more).
Recognize that youll be balancing your budget against the wish list from your stakeholders and then
prioritizing.
Focus: Cost and Consumption

Operations
Will you be consolidating or operating multiple systems for monitoring and
reporting on different processes?
The growing number of onboard sensors and the information available are driving a Big Data revolution in the
maritime world. Will your selected SATCOM solution support the fast, efficient, and affordable transmission of
that data to your teams on shore?
Focus: Big Data

Will Operations need access to Cloud-based apps for efficient onboard systems
management?
Ships are increasingly operating as mobile nodes of your offices and the Cloud-based apps you rely upon on
shore also offer great value to your officers and others. Consider whether you will need to ensure sufficient
bandwidth and speed to make use of these apps.
Focus: Big Data

Will you be depending on secure, automatic delivery of large digital files like charts,
weather forecasts, security updates and voyage planning information?
Maritime regulations increasingly require that vessels will receive the most up-to-date data digitally (e.g.,
ECDIS) and constant updates from shore are also critical to voyage optimization and more. What is your
strategy for sending these updates to your vessels in a regularly scheduled and affordable manner? Will you be
using your monthly data allocations for this or will you seek out a complementary content delivery service?
Focus: Content Delivery

Notes

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 3


How much data (e.g., reporting, weather updates, etc.) does Operations expect to
send and receive per month? _____MB/month
Operations is typically the single largest user of onboard data. How many reports per day, week, or month do
you anticipate the vessel sending and receiving? Will you be handling weather and chart updates via satellite?
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Does Operations need a voice service with prioritized bandwidth?


Picking up the phone and making a call is the most immediate means of contacting the shore. Make sure your
selected SATCOM solution offers voice prioritization so that your critical voice calls are never affected by other
onboard data use.
Focus: Voice Service

Are you planning to deploy a digital library of all necessary regulations and other
documentation mandated by regulatory authorities?
Regulations change all the time. Whats your process for getting these updates to your ships, officers, and crews?
Focus: Content Delivery

Safety and Quality


Do you need a library of training materials for onboard training, testing, and
certification to facilitate seafarer-assessment initiatives?
An investment up front in excellent training can reduce risks to crew and ships as well as save millions of dollars
in potential fines, damages, and cleanup costs. How will IT, Safety, and Manning/Crewing work together to
deliver up-to-date training and ensure that officers and crews are taking and passing the courses?
Focus: Training

Do you have a training content delivery system that can broadcast up-to-date
training to the vessel?
Video and computer-based training are regularly shown to be the best forms of training available to keep crew
and officers current. Will you rely on computer updates and DVDs delivered at the dock or will you want
current and timely training to be delivered via satellite?
Focus: Content Delivery

Are you equipped with a training management service to track individual seafarers
and support necessary inspections?
Effective training and up-to-date records are a regulatory requirement in many situations. Consider the data
requirements as well as the value of a training management system that can track onboard training and relay
that data and records both to shore-based administrators and to other vessels in the fleet should an officer or
crew member change vessels.
Focus: Training

Notes

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Human Resources/Crewing
Do you plan to offer crew and officers affordable access to Internet and voice
communications services?
The expectations for crew access rapidly increasing and need to be accounted for in your plans. Check out
Deciphering Broadband at Sea: Connectivity A Critical Element in Seafarer Recruitment and Retention for
more details.
Focus: Crew Welfare

How will you be providing entertainment onboard (e.g., TV shows, sports updates,
movies, and music channels) that is licensed for commercial use?
Providing licensed news, sports, and entertainment content is valuable for crew morale and also reduces the
risk of copyright violation and fines should seafarers be bringing personal DVDs on board for crew-wide use or
illegally downloading content from Torrent sites.
Focus: Content Delivery

Do you plan to provide crew access to news from home on a daily basis, either via
video or print?
News from home consistently ranks among the highest demand items for crew access, especially when it can be
provided in their native language. Do you have a delivery solution in mind to provide daily news via TV or via
newspapers that could be read digitally on phone, tablet, or PC, or printed out for crew consumption?
Focus: Content Delivery

Is that content viewable by everyone onboard via computers, tablets, or the


vessels communal TVs?
What are the expectations for crew and officer consumption of news and entertainment content? Will all gather
in one place and have one source or would you prefer to make news and more available via multiple devices
simultaneously?
Focus: Content Delivery

Will you be offering career development resources including both mandated


training and access to e-Learning services?
Career development and training programs are shown to be valuable differentiators for officers and crews
considering new opportunities or whether to remain with their current fleet.
Focus: Training

Notes

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Security
Will you need fleet monitoring to provide vessel location, route, speed, and status
securely?
Do you have a secure mechanism by which to see position and status of every vessel at the same time on a
single map? Consider a SATCOM solution that is paired with a secure partner portal that can deliver that
information to every authorized user.
Focus: Transparency and Control

Do you need access to onboard closed circuit TV (CCTV) systems or onboard video
surveillance systems from your shore-based offices?
Video footage can consume substantial bandwidth depending on format and quality. Consider your streaming
data needs and video quality should your security team require this information.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

IT and Communications
Will you want to allocate data on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to crew, officers,
and operations?
An open Internet connection for uncontrolled data use by officers, crews, and passengers can lead to
unexpectedly high monthly bills or a dramatic reduction in data speeds if you violate your service providers
Fair Access Policy fine print. A data allocation system that permits you to set different profiles that include
a set amount of data for each user can prevent excessive data use and keep your vessels on budget.
Focus: Transparency and Control

Do you need network management tools to monitor and manage bandwidth


consumption on individual ships and by individual users?
Managing fleet networks well requires visibility into ship by ship data use, network performance, and data
consumption. What tools will you have in place, either internally or from your SATCOM provider, to
support that need?
Focus: Transparency and Control

Do you anticipate using videoconferencing on board?


Videoconferencing requires substantial bandwidth, especially if high-quality. Consider your streaming data
needs and video quality expectations should your team require this information.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Notes

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Will you require remote access to onboard computers and networks?
Remote access offers a range of capabilities, including troubleshooting an onboard PC or system issue or
accessing vital data.
Focus: Big Data

Do you need secure VPNs and integration with onshore servers?


Greater attention is being paid to cyber-security at sea. You spend time and resources protecting your office
networks. Your SATCOM solution needs to offer the same degree of security and protection.
Focus: Big Data

What level of security do you expect your satellite service provider to deliver?
Network security is vital to ensuring protection for your data. Consider whether or not your prospective
service provider offers network features like global multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), global static
IP addresses for your vessels, etc.
Focus: Big Data

Are you expecting to use one antenna to support operations and crew
communications and if so, would the ability to have two separate airtime plans
running from one antenna be of value?
Purchasing and installing two satellite communications antennas to support two different functions on board
isnt always practical from a budget perspective. Will your prospective service provider be able to provide split
billing with a single antenna supporting two airtime plans?
Focus: Cost and Consumption

Service and Support


Will your vessels and onboard system need to be serviced away from their home
port either regionally or worldwide?
No one wants to be stuck without access to onsite technical support when a critical system is experiencing
issues. Consider the potential costs for field support and whether your prospective service provider offers
technical support in the ports your vessels visit.
Focus: Cost and Consumption

What is your expectation for warranty coverage from your service provider and is
that warranty being managed by a third party (e.g., a separate antenna supplier)?
Keep it simple will you be able to get a warranty that runs up to five years to maximize the long-term value
of your investment? If you need service under that warranty, will you have a single point of contact for all
support-related needs or will you be bounced between different hardware manufacturers and suppliers?
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Notes

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In what languages will you want telephone support provided?
The commercial maritime world is a global one with officers and crews from many countries. Make sure that
your satellite communications provider will be able to provide 24/7 telephone support and translation services
for the languages your crews speak.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Engineering
Will your vessels be equipped with equipment monitoring sensors and do you have
an affordable means of getting the data off the vessel?
The growing number of onboard sensors and the information available are driving a Big Data revolution in the
maritime world. Predictive analysis can improve maintenance and performance. Will your selected SATCOM
solution support the fast, efficient, and affordable transmission of that data to your teams on shore?
Focus: Big Data

Do you expect to use videoconferencing to support onshore technical support


for repairs?
Videoconferencing requires substantial bandwidth, especially if high-quality. Consider your streaming data
needs and video quality should your engineering team require this information.
Focus: Costs and Consumption

Would an onboard library of satellite-updated technical documents and videos


specific to your onboard systems be valuable?
On shore, its easy to turn to services like YouTube or vendor websites to find videos explaining repairs,
troubleshooting, and more or to download technical manuals. With an eye toward minimizing data use, would
a digital library of information relevant to your systems be of value?
Focus: Content Delivery

Business Development
Does the Business Development team need access to a fleet tracking display to
show the current position of all the companys vessels?
Do you have a secure mechanism by which to see position and status of every vessel at the same time on a
single map? Will your Business Development team find this a valuable tool when working with charter or
shipping clients? Consider a SATCOM solution that is paired with a secure partner portal that can deliver that
information to every authorized user.
Focus: Transparency and Control

Notes

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Would real-time cargo status and location updates increase the value of service for
your customers supply chain management?
Cargo containers and vessel transit data offer valuable insights for your clients. Be sure to take into account the
data transmission needs for these onboard systems to share that routine data affordably and quickly.
Focus: Transparency and Control

Seafarers
Will phone and Internet access be provided at no cost by the company?
Crew calling offers the best link for seafarers to home. Will the company provide calling minutes at the
companys expense for crew?
Focus: Voice Service

Will crew be asked to purchase phone and data access?


Does your company prefer to offer a pre-paid program through which seafarers can purchase as many minutes
of calling time as they wish and make those calls on a dedicated line, separate from vessel operations?
Focus: Voice Service

Is providing licensed content (e.g., sports, news, movies, TV, music) for crew use a
priority to recruit and retain well-qualified crew and officers?
Providing licensed news, sports, and entertainment content increases the appeal of your fleet to prospective
officers and crew, and is valuable for crew morale. Plus, it reduces the risk of copyright violation and fines
should seafarers be bringing personal DVDs on board for crew-wide use or illegally downloading content
from Torrent sites.
Focus: Content Delivery

Is that content viewable by everyone onboard via computers, tablets, or the


vessels communal TVs?
What are the expectations for crew and officer consumption of news and entertainment content? Will they all
gather in one place or would you prefer to make news and more available via multiple devices simultaneously?
Focus: Content Delivery

Notes

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Best Practices and Considerations for Choosing a Service
So at the end of the day, where does this checklist and assessment of needs get you?
Completing this assessment will deliver:
a better understanding of focus areas your service will need to address,
a clear picture of your stakeholders' requirements, and
a realistic assessment of anticipated data usage for operations and crew as well as your
speed requirements.

Knowing this information reduces your risk of selecting a service and package based on limited
past use, rather than your vessels future needs.

Costs & Consumption


Anticipating low data use, basic operational functions, and a tight budget? A basic fixed service
with lower speeds and lower package costs might be suitable. But increased demand for system
and sensor reports, crew access, video, and more point to an open plan with maximum network
speeds, very low per MB costs, and the ability to add data affordably as needed. At the same time,
consider the lifetime cost of ownership, your global support needs, and warranty expectations.
All will go a long way to help you maximize the long-term value of your SATCOM investment.
Big Data
The emergence of big data and an array of onboard sensors, reporting tools, and more promise
a tremendous boost in efficiency and cost savings. However, that data carries with it a megabyte
load that basic fixed plans with higher per MB costs wont support effectively. Look for high
speed connections and corresponding affordable per MB plans with a proven, reliable data
network backing them up.
Voice Services
Officers and crews rely on the phone to conduct business, respond to urgent needs, and stay in
touch with home and family. However, Voice over IP services typically rely on the same uplinks
and downlinks as the vessels data connections. As you evaluate services, take this into account
and look for options including pre-paid calling for crew, the option for split billing that supports
two different data/voice lines and airtime plans on a single antenna, and prioritized voice
channels to maximize voice quality rather than speed of data transmissions.
Content Delivery
Weather updates, voyage optimization data, navigational charts, business documents and videos,
training, entertainment such as news, sports, movies, and more all play a role in the safe,
smooth operation of the vessel and the health and well-being of its crew. Using a traditional
SATCOM service to deliver this content carries a high cost when a single movie might be 4 GB
in size or weather charts and voyage optimization data is delivered four times a day.
Consider alternatives to your vessels primary satellite communication service. Multicasting, for
example, has the ability to deliver hundreds of gigabytes of data every month to all the vessels in
your fleet, using the same antenna but a completely separate data subscription so that shipboard
communications and your monthly service plan are unaffected.

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 10


Training
Training matters. A single accident can cost hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in fines
and clean up fees as well as put lives in peril. A well-trained crew increases efficiency, reduces
costs, is less likely to quit, and dramatically minimizes risks. Be sure to consider whether your
selected SATCOM solution can deliver up-to-date training programs, if it will be able to
communicate with shore-based training management systems, and if it can do so affordably.
Crew Welfare
It is clear that connected ships are incredibly powerful tools for recruitment and retention.
Consider one of the increasingly popular maritime VSAT satellite communications services,
which offer fast, affordable connections that outstrip older SATCOM solutions, whether your
vessels operate on a regional or global basis.
Make certain that your chosen SATCOM solution offers easy, integrated crew access
management, which permits administrators or shipboard managers to allocate data to crew
members on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. And choose a SATCOM solution that offers the
ability to multicast digital content movies, sports, daily news from home and international
news, TV, music, and more for easy, affordable onboard access without consuming the ships
monthly data package.
Transparency & Control
Make certain that your SATCOM solution offers secure, flexible, and fully transparent data and
network management tools, including, at a minimum, data usage alerts that can be sent via SMS
text or email to anyone designated, comprehensive data allocation capabilities to manage data
use down to the individual onboard, system and service performance reports, fleet tracking,
and more.

Which Approach to Airtime Service Plans is Right for You?


So youve reached the end of the checklist and are looking back over the wish list for an ideal
satellite communications solution.
One resource that will help is Deciphering Broadband at Sea: Getting Your Maritime
Connectivity Strategy Right Challenges and Best Practices.

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 11


To make the right choice for long term success, its vital to take a close look at not only your
budget and function priorities but also at your corporate expectations and culture. The mix
of those items will also help determine the right airtime plan approach for your business.

Among the options:

Plan Type Fixed Plans Use-based Metered Plans Use-Based Open Plans
What are Traditional fixed plans are Metered plans, such as KVHs Extremely affordable with the
they? built around a fixed monthly M Plans, typically include the highest network speeds, large
cost with prices usually highest network speeds for all monthly data bundles, and the
varying based on data rates plans, and mid-range per MB lowest per MB pricing.
and relatively high per MB pricing for the monthly data
pricing. bundles.

Pros Known, consistent monthly Programs like KVHs M Plans Programs like KVHs OP plans
cost with limited data offer the highest network offer the highest network speeds
management needs. speeds for all plans. for all plans.
Bundles can start for as low as The price per MB can be as low
$49 per month for 50 MB as $0.12 depending on package.
Metered plans should include Open plans should include
access to versatile data access to versatile data
management tools to control management tools to control
data use, and avoid exceeding data use and avoid exceeding
the monthly plan allotment the monthly plan allotment,
and offer the same certainty as and offering essentially the
with fixed data plans. same certainty as with fixed
data plans.
No data speed throttling
when the monthly plan is No data speed throttling when
exceeded. the monthly plan is exceeded.
Mid-range pricing for Extremely low pricing for
additional MBs when needed. additional MBs when needed.
Pooling could be an option to
minimize any potential overage.

Cons Lower cost plans have Metered bundles typically Require a level of
extremely slow speeds arent well suited for high-data administration to take full
(e.g. 128 Kbps/64 Kbps), use situations, often maxing advantage of data management
definitely not what you out at 2-3 GB bundles per tools to ensure that each ship
would consider broadband. month. and all users remain within
their monthly data allotment.
Per MB pricing may be Require a level of
significantly higher than administration to take
other plan types. full advantage of data
management tools to ensure
Exceeding the monthly
that each ship and all users
data speeds (usually defined
remain within their monthly
in fine print Fair Access
data allotment.
Policies) often results in a
dramatic throttling back of
data rates to a fraction of the
plans promised speeds for
a period of time. This is the
network providers means of
protecting against overuse.

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 12


The Big Picture for Onboard Data Use = A Viable Specification
for Your Service Needs
Contact the KVH team for assistance assessing your current satellite communications performance,
identifying your future needs, and deploying the right SATCOM and content solution that your
fleet needs to succeed.

Americas: EMEA: Asia-Pacific:

KVH Industries, Inc. KVH Industries A/S KVH Industries Pte Ltd.
Tel: +1 401 847-3327 Tel: +45 45 160 180 Tel: +65 6513 0290
Email: sales@kvh.com Email: sales@emea.kvh.com Email: sales@apac.kvh.com

To subscribe to the Deciphering Broadband at Sea series, or to view the


other articles in the series, visit: www.kvh.com/decipherlibrary

About the Series


Deciphering Broadband at Sea is published by KVH as an aid to smarter decision-making around
www.kvh.com global satellite communications. With its Power of One communications solution, KVH is
dedicated to making life at sea more profitable for the shipowner-manager, more efficient for the
ship operator, and better for the seafarer. If you have suggestions for topics for future installments
in the series or questions on any article, please send them to deciphering@kvh.com.

Deciphering Broadband at Sea: The Series No. 6 Page 13


2016, KVH Industries, Inc. DecipherBAS6 6.16
KVH is a trademark of KVH Industries, Inc.
All other trademarks property of their respective companies.