2010 will see brighter times in shipboard communications with airtime traffic and usage expected
to go up, an Inmarsat service provider has claimed. Asad Salameh, President of World‐Link Communications, said ship owners and managers are ready to be sold the real benefits that onboard broadband communications can bring such as improved fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and a happier and better connected shipboard crew complement.
“For a market that is coming out of the freeze, concern remains about a slow recovery. More than ever before ship owners and managers have to be sold on the benefits of broad band, and new services being proposed as operational costs remain a major concern,” he said.
The maritime communications sector is developing a more constructive dialogue with the industry at large with ship owners really trying to understand how communication can reduce their fuel costs and generally improve efficiencies onboard their ships.
“Ship owners are also becoming more forward looking as far as initiatives such as social networking sites are concerned. Today’s ship owner may not have his own Facebook page but he has heard enough about Facebook to say that maybe it is something that will help us provide a better environment for his crew. So the dialogue is elevated to a higher grade from just a cost and rates discussion to a discussion of ‘how does this solution really benefit me?’ That is the discussion that World‐Link wants to be participating in,” Salameh said.
He continued: “It is more important now than ever before, that we show the benefits of broadband communication onboard ship but we have to take into consideration the fact that ship owners are more cautious with their money. So because our products show tangible benefits, they are more significant and popular now than in good economic times. We have always been about saving money and providing a better service and reducing the cost of communications.”