The introduction of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite solutions has transformed the end user experience for offshore workers on a global basis, helping to improve the welfare of crew for the better. The promise of increased bandwidths and lower latency (satellite delay), means internet access for offshore personnel has now become close to terrestrial onshore levels in terms of performance. This means that crew can do much more with their free time, from uninterrupted family video calling to competitive online gaming.
There are however some considerations, that for some, have already become a costly oversight. You don’t need to dig deep into your internet service contract to see your satellite bandwidth can come with usage limits. Companies already deploying LEO satellite services offshore have quickly realised that providing crew with unlimited satellite internet can leave them with significant unexpected costs. You might be surprised how quickly bandwidth is consumed when you have great internet speeds!
Here is a simple example from one of the LEO suppliers (Starlink) who charge approx. $5,000 USD per month with a 5TB data allowance. Once this has been used, the overuse charge doubles in price. So, if you were to use 10TB in total for a month, this would cost $15,000 USD ($5k plus $2k for every additional TB).
Depending on your crew numbers and their internet behaviour, without some form of bandwidth management for the service, be prepared for the occasional surprise. Although usage limits can be set with the LEO service providers directly, there are better, more flexible solutions available. This is where bandwidth management services earn their keep. Good user management tools include bandwidth management amongst their choice of settings, allowing you to have pre-defined usage limits for users. This ensures fair and balanced sharing of bandwidth, whilst also giving priority to mission critical applications where required. In short, a solution that will prevent you from receiving an unexpected high bill.
At Vital WiFi , we have been successfully providing WiFi access and usage management tools since 2012. To provide your crew with an improved internet access experience whilst still managing your ongoing costs and ensuring bandwidth is fairly distributed amongst crew, please contact us to discuss how we can help manage your internet & WiFi.