Choosing a VSAT Provider – Where to Start ?
What to Look for in a VSAT provider
As you begin to search for a VSAT provider you might easily become overwhelmed by just how many there are competing in the market. Some solutions are offered as standard ‘plug and play’ packages and others can be fully customised to meet the demands of the particular fleet or vessel. Higher end solutions will normally include 24/7 customer support and are often paired with system integrations, IT and voice applications.
Many Service Providers will offer multiple solutions so you should expect for your plans and needs to be efficiently accommodated.
You might want to start by calculating an ideal monthly and initial expenditure and then later form a cost analysis based on what you have been offered and what was budgeted.
You should also aim to establish whether a standardised service or a customised service might best fit your needs. A standardised solution may offer better economies of scale and a simpler set up process, whilst a customised solution will be more appropriate for vessels undertaking complex or business critical operations; or for fleets that have varying levels of demands across their vessels
Considerations when choosing a Service Provider:
- Customer Service
- Geographic support available
- The size of the Service Provider
- The amount of experience they have
- How many years has the Provider existed – this can be an indication of their longevity and stability
- Owned Network or VNO (leased Network)
- Experience and knowledge
Considerations when choosing a Product:
- Customised or Standardised?
- Bandwidth Allocation
- Cost Analysis
- Geographic coverage needs
- Onboard IT Applications
- Applications for Crew and/or Passengers
- Flexibility in contractual terms
- Value Added Services offered
You may also be interested in reading ‘Five Questions for your Maritime Connectivity Provider’ from our Interesting Articles page.