For your interest, here are a few statistics and figures about the
maritime VSAT market.
You have our permission to quote these figures providing that you label any information
© and reference is made at each use to this www site
(www.comsys.co.uk). These figures run into 2014, but are not
complete for the whole year:
There are a number of segments within the maritime niche which have been
very well targeted and are now effectively saturated. These include O&G rigs
& platforms with the leading providers being Harris CapRock and
RigNet with ITC Global coming up fast; cruise
lines, with MTN and Harris CapRock dominating; oil & gas supply (Airbus/Marlink,
DTS, Inmarsat, BlueTide, GDS and other O&G specialists); and, ferries (Airbus/Marlink).
These sub-segments are small in volume – less than 6,000 ships in total –
but very high in value. The related market in the oil and gas business is broken out as maritime in the latest COMSYS Maritime
VSAT Report. This includes supply vessels, drill ships, seismic vessels
and dive support services. It would be natural to conclude that the
operator positions in these segments are essentially set, but this is far
from the case and there are many ambitious entrants as market disruption is
Changes over the
past couple of years in
the demand for broadband at sea have increased the number of
operators deploying stabilised antenna systems
from a handful of very specialised companies to more than 170 service
providers across the world all interested or providing some form of VSAT
service to the maritime industry. The past six years have seen a
major interest in penetrating the next levels of the market which comprises several sub-segments that are both regional and international in scope.
There has also been a fundamental change in the market in the form of the wider
commercial segment now beginning to see broadband at sea as an essential
requirement to both retain crew and reduce operational costs.
Recent growth of maritime VSAT services has been extremely vibrant as
commercial fleets the world over have increasingly thrown away the
inhibitions so evident in past years. All
stabilised antenna VSAT services have shown strong long term growth in the
number of vessels served with growth
at 5 year compound annual rates of around 17 per cent as of end-2013 and
revenues posting a CAGR of 15 per cent, driven not only by increased
deployments, but also rapidly escalating bandwidth requirements.
The past two years have seen a sea-change (pun intended!) in the wider
commercial tanker, container and freight market as fleet owners and
operators have finally accepted the criticality and utility of broadband and
the fact that VSAT services represent an important tool to lower costs and
claw back towards profitability after the
economic woes experienced in the years following the downturn in 2008 and
2009. Underlying this the customer base has broadened quite considerably and
neither average prices nor margins are as high as they were in the late
1990s and early 2000s, but increased bandwidth usage has nevertheless held
up revenues. Of the top 12 revenue earners in the market, the largest O&G
and High-End Commercial specialists remain the most substantial, but the
list is now far more diversified with other operators focusing on
Commercial, Fishing and Leisure segments.
industry now enjoys a far greater diversity of choice in hardware and
service as well as developments which promise to advance airtime and
equipment that will further feed the need.
MSS services are
clearly important and play an essential role for safety and back-up
services, but the lower bandwidth and higher pricing that L-band services
have to bear has now ensured that MSS is more of a complement than a
competitor to VSAT. Revenues from stabilised VSAT services (which
include bundled hardware) grew to over $1.3 billion in 2014 and the
number of vessels, including rigs and platforms, in service closed in on 21,000.
4th Edition of the COMSYS Maritime VSAT Report analyses the total available maritime market
based on primary research, publicly available data, specific data points
from industry contacts and research commissioned by COMSYS from maritime
industry consultants. The report shows that there are over 1.3
million vessels of all types that could theoretically be connected by
satellite services and that, after removing the small yacht market, almost
285,000 vessels represent the core opportunity of which over 25 per cent are
actual or near term potential
customers for VSAT. The breakdown of these vessels by segment can be
seen in the pie chart opposite.