The global maritime industry is increasingly relying on satellite-based communications to ensure efficient operations, business continuity, and the safety and security of its human resources and assets. The demand for dependable and seamless connectivity has further increased following the implementation of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) as well as e-navigation and e-mail services onboard vessels.

Today, vessel owners can access onboard operating systems remotely, have their vessels be reachable at all times, and efficiently overcome challenges due to technical specifications and costs. Digitalisation of the maritime industry has extended such an unbelievable range of innovative solutions – even in low bandwidth environments – that what took months to achieve earlier can be completed in two minutes with reliable connectivity and bandwidth management.

MSS operators want cheaper & reliable alternatives to meet customer demand

We have long known and observed the benefits of high frequencies such as the Ka- and Ku- bands. We already know their characteristics and applications as well as the fact that they enable transmitters to convey more data per second. The challenge with these high frequencies, however, is that they allow for the transmission of more data at first, but they require more power to avoid blockages as well as larger antennas, which cannot fit all vessel types.

Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) operators have long been dependent on the capacity of Ka- and Ku- bands for the delivery of their services. However, as demand increases and frequencies become limited, they are searching for cheaper, more reliable alternatives to meet customer demand.

L-band: a reliable satellite solution

The L-band offers a reliable satellite-based solution by supporting stable global operations even when weather conditions are adverse. L-band enables global network coverage with no interruptions and provides broadband communications to users located anywhere.

The principal advantage of the L-band is its ability to deliver high data rates efficiently at a low cost. MSS operators that have deployed L-band networks have seen significant decreases in their operating expenses while also increasing their network capacities.

L-band is an important part of the global maritime industry

L-band is a type of radio frequency that is commonly used in the maritime industry. It is a low-frequency band, which means that its signals can travel long distances and penetrate through obstacles such as buildings and mountains. This makes it perfect for use in satellite communications over large areas, such as an ocean or a continent.

Traditionally, L-band was used as a back-up line. Modern technologies, such as OneGate by IEC Telecom, maximize data usage over this channel.  Thus, it may very well operate as a primary line, particularly for smaller vessels.  This is achieved by means of an advanced VAN optimisation and two-stage filtration.

This state-of-the-art solution offers a VSAT-like experience for small and medium-sized vessels. OneGate eliminates unessential usage and channels bandwidth to critical operations. In doing so, it protects against the introduction of cyber threats from users by separating the vessel management system from its crew welfare network. The crew is able to access social media networks, internet services, and online training resources while vessel operators are able to maintain a tight control over their communication budgets and usage with set credit limits on data usage and enable the link to be automatically disconnected when the limit is reached. The cost savings and greater efficiency of such a facility are significant.

Optimized digital services over L-band

L-band can be used today for a range of digital services that were previously reserved for VSAT only.  Application suites such as OptiSoft and OptiConnect have been developed specifically keeping in mind L-band capacity. They offer a wide set of communication services and operational value-adds, enabling the benefits of digitalisation for all vessel types.

Adding a high-level of flexibility to a vessel’s satellite communications system, OptiSoft offers reliable email management, advanced cyber security, robust data transfer, remote system configuration, and much more. OptiConnect delivers hands-free video conferencing, live technical assistance and advanced surveillance capabilities, saving its customers time and money. 

A full range of telecommunication services

In the maritime industry, L-band is treasured as an exceptionally resilient network, supporting data services even in rainy, foggy, and stormy weather. While L-band traditionally served as a back-up channel for emergency communications, crew can now access a full range of telecommunication services enhanced by improved applications – even if the main network is down.

The technical team can now perform troubleshooting sessions and even remotely fix VSAT network errors thanks to the improved capability of the back-up channel. As a result, an effective L-band network infrastructure is becoming a critical component of an onboard business contingency plan.

IEC Telecom Group

IEC Telecom provides top-notch satellite communication solutions all around the world, offering its clients a wide range of L-band connectivity solutions that are designed to provide high-quality and reliable data transmission services with the goal to create a network infrastructure that can support any type of application or business requirement.

IEC Telecom Group is committed to keeping customer needs at the forefront in the provision of the most relevant communications solutions, services, and support. Customers can access five dedicated channels of support via email, a 24/7 global hotline, WhatsApp service, online ticketing, and a comprehensive download center on the IEC Telecom website.


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