Elon Musk’s Starlink and Dubai’s Elcome join forces to bring internet to the maritime sector

Starlink, the satellite internet service operated by Elon Musk’s aerospace company spacexhas joined forces with Dubai-based marine electronics company Elcome International to provide Internet services to the maritime industry.

Using Starlink’s low-Earth orbit satellites, the largest constellation of satellites at such an altitude, the service will connect vessels such as merchant ships, oil rigs and luxury yachts at Internet speeds that are up to 100 times faster than normal traditional. satelite services, Elcome said Monday.

Elcome will equip its customers with advanced solutions that take advantage of Starlink’s capabilities. Orders will be fulfilled from Elcome’s fulfillment centers in Dubai, Singapore and Spain with a variety of installation and support options available, the company added.

“UAE is a global hub of the maritime industry, and we are uniquely positioned and equipped to expand Starlink’s installed base on vessels operating in the Middle East, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean.” jimmy grewalchief executive of Elcome, said The National.

“With Starlink’s global service available globally in international waters, we have an aggressive plan to leverage our base in the United Arab Emirates to bring the benefits of this incredible service to as many customers as possible.”

Starlink is a satellite constellation service which provides Internet access via satellites that orbit the planet at an altitude of between 200 and 2,000 km.

For perspective, the International Space Station it orbits at 408 km, while the Hubble Space Telescope is 547 km away.

The service provides high-speed, low-latency broadband Internet. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Satellite Internet is a viable option compared to regular Internet services. For example, to access the Internet using a 5G or any broadband connectiona device must be within range of a cell tower.

The closer a user is to the cell tower, the better and faster the connection should be. With a satellite, you can get Internet access even in the middle of nowhere.

“This latency reduction [with Starlink] This is especially evident in voice calls and video calls, where the delay in conversations is barely noticeable compared to traditional satellite voice communication systems,” Grewal said.

The global LEO satellite market is forecast to reach more than $34 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual rate of nearly 17 percent from 2022 to 2030, data from Verified Market Research shows.

For the maritime industry, users can experience download speeds of up to 350 Mbps while at sea, even from “the world’s most remote waters,” according to Starlink.

Another benefit of Starlink’s LEO constellation is its smaller, lighter, simpler and cheaper antennas, Grewal said.

Starlink’s high-performance flat antennas weigh less than 7 kg, are less than 60 square centimeters, contain no moving parts, and can withstand wind speeds of up to 280 km per hour.

“This means it can be accommodated on a variety of vessel types where traditional satellite communication domes are impractical or impossible to install,” Grewal said.

In addition to withstanding extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and hurricane-force winds, Starlink can also withstand rocket engines, according to its website.

Starlink is currently available in 45 countries, the latest being Finland, where services were activated in November.

However, it is not available in the United Arab Emirates. The company has not given indications of when the service will be available in the Emirates.

“Elcome looks forward to serving more customers in the coming months,” said Mr. Grewal.

Last month the UK government he said he was testing star link since it seeks to provide better internet connectivity in remote parts of the country.

Updated: January 8, 2023, 20:01

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