Sunday, February 5, 2023

Castor Marine offers Starlink to boost Internet for its maritime and offshore clients

Since Starlink announced its connectivity services for the maritime industry, customers have shown big interest in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications at sea, because of the system’s ability to provide high-speed Internet at very low latency. Recognizing this, Netherlands based connectivity provider Castor Marine has taken the step to add Starlink to their portfolio completing its VSAT and network capabilities, by becoming an Authorized Starlink Reseller.

New level of connectivity at sea

Adding Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband Internet solution to its portfolio means that Castor now can offer SD-WAN automatic and dynamic switching service between Starlink, VSAT, Iridium, Fleetbroadband and 4G/5G LTE services to create a seamless user experience that was impossible a few months ago – it’s quite unique.

Market developments

Already the effects of Starlink’s network of satellites in low Earth orbit (the largest constellation in the world) can be seen rippling through the yachting, offshore energy, and marine transport markets, where demand was ahead of supply for a while and is now catching up.

Ivo Veldkamp, Castor Marine’s CEO, expects Starlink to “replace 4G/5G connectivity onboard of merchant marine and offshore vessels and yachts.” He also predicts that “vessels currently relying on VSAT will add Starlink for their high bandwidth requirements, while keeping VSAT on board as a back-up and failover service.

Mark Olthuis, Director of Castor Marine, says: “Starlink is a ground-breaking service, bringing a new level of connectivity at sea, accelerating automation and digitalization for shipowners and improving internet experience for everybody onboard. We received positive feedback from customers who are already using Starlink and see a big demand from both our established customer base and new customers.

Hardware, installation and security

Starlink Maritime consists of two flat panel antennas that have a very small footprint, are easy to install and require a minimum of space above deck. Another feature enabling ease of operation is that no matter how many vessels one hooks up to Starlink, all systems can be monitored and managed remotely from a single digital portal. As to security: the Starlink system provides end-to-end encryption. This ensures safe data traffic and protecting the confidentiality of its contents.

Our customers expect us to stay ahead of the curve and provide them with the best connectivity solution technically available in the market,” adds Ivo Veldkamp. “We foresee a shift in the market with customers switching from VSAT and 4G/5G connectivity to Starlink with VSAT as back-up. Adding Starlink to our portfolio of services enables Castor to create the optimal connectivity solution, not only for the maritime industry, but also for our NGO and enterprise customers.

Already, clients from the yachting, offshore, container and tanker industries have expressed their interest in purchasing Starlink service on their vessels. With the Reseller Agreement in place and the hardware in stock, Castor is now set to respond at speed to these market requirements.

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