Intelsat and Marlink announced that their partnership to deliver High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) services to cruise and passenger vessels using Intelsat EpicNG has contributed to an increase in bandwidth delivered on Marlink’s Sealink Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) service of more than 220 percent during 2016.

This growth in bandwidth enabling broadband connectivity for Marlink cruise and passenger segment customers is more than three times larger than what Marlink was delivering at the beginning of 2016. The global services capability that Marlink offers on its Sealink VSAT service portfolio has driven this growth, enabled using the Intelsat Globalized Network, including the Intelsat Epic platform and strategically located teleports around the world, the company said.

According to Marlink, the ability to deliver a consistent, high-quality broadband experience on Sealink VSAT to vessels, regardless of location, is becoming increasingly important, as the cruise industry is attracting more passengers than ever and taking them to new destinations around the globe. Supporting this growth and changes in traffic patterns, especially a shift to users uploading photos and video content, could only have been supported with a global network of satellites that includes HTS, wide beams, teleports and support teams.

Marlink is a long-standing Intelsat customer, with services on multiple Intelsat satellites and the IntelsatOne terrestrial network. The Intelsat-Marlink strategic agreement for services on the Intelsat Epic platform began in 2014. Marlink already provides services via Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, which combined, cover the Americas, Caribbean, and the heavily traveled North Atlantic route, Europe, Africa and Asia. Marlink will add coverage via Intelsat 35e when it begins operations later in 2017, and will complete global coverage when Horizons 3e is launched in the second half of 2018. The Intelsat Epic service allows Marlink to push more throughput per unit of capacity, improving economics for its customers. The open-architecture design and backwards compatibility of Intelsat Epic enables Marlink to incorporate high-throughput services into its network, meaning maritime customers do not have to take vessels out of operation to perform expensive equipment upgrades.

“The surge in demand for data connectivity across the maritime sector helped drive the creation of the partnership, and it continues to pay immediate, measurable dividends for Marlink and Sealink VSAT customers,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president of maritime at Marlink. – Satellite Today