For a premium connectivity solution fit for the modern yacht, Voyager IP found the smart solution with the Celerway ARCUS 5G. Voyager IP brings a fresh approach to old issues often encountered in superyachts by partnering with some of the best technology partners out there, to upgrade and transform existing maritime internet and telecommunications solutions.
At the upcoming SYTC 21 in Barcelona on 14/15 October, Voyager IP will be showcasing its ‘best in brand’ suite of products alongside its partners, Celerway, Poynting, StellaDoradus and XPCC.
Whenever connectivity is mentioned, yacht owners and operators care most about three things: speed, cost, and coverage wherever they go. The ideal yacht connectivity solution should allow for a seamless handover between carriers and cell towers as the yacht is cruising.
In contrast, the multi-WAN solutions to be found on many yachts are frequently underwhelming in terms of performance. “Inertia, together with the attitude of ‘better the devil you know’ is hard to shift, with a debilitating effect on end-user satisfaction,” said Voyager IP’s managing director Mark Elliott.
Elliott understands the reluctance of some customers to move to newer and better solutions not yet well known, but he wants to challenge the status quo, and his goal is to give customers a compelling reason to make that move. It is why the company is focused on delivering solutions that are a cut or two above the rest without breaking the bank.
Voyager IP was introduced to Celerway technology and put the ARCUS, its flagship mobile router, to a proper yachting test. “The Celerway ARCUS looked great on paper, but we wanted to use it in a real-world scenario, the kind that’s rarely ideal,” said Elliott. “If the ARCUS performed as described in the spec sheet, we’d have solid and compelling proof of a superior alternative for our yacht customers.”
Voyager IP set up the ARCUS on a 44-metre Timmerman yacht at Livorno on Italy’s west coast. The ARCUS is a ruggedised multi-WAN router with up to three integrated cellular modems and can combine cellular with satellite. The team equipped the ARCUS with three SIM cards from two providers to demonstrate the router’s resilience. The overall cellular solution also included a StellaDoradus voice/data repeater and Poynting omnidirectional antennas.
To start, in pure throughput tests using only cellular data and three SIMs each delivering over 100 Mbps, the ARCUS achieved a combined bitrate over 325 Mbps. The hallmark of the Voyager IP solution, encompassing Celerway technology, is its ability to use sometimes poor-quality cellular WANs but still deliver optimal results, indispensable in remote areas where yachts often travel.
Next, to simulate the activity of a full complement of crew, owners, and guests, the team connected the yacht’s internal network and all onboard equipment to the ARCUS, running multiple simultaneous Apple TV streams in HD. The HD streams were flawless. From the point of view of the Voyager IP team, the ARCUS delivered what it said on the spec sheet and more.
Following the stationary tests, the final step was to observe the performance of the ARCUS in the more challenging scenario of an international voyage. At cruising speeds of 8 to 12 knots, the Timmerman made its way from Italy to Turkey. All the while, ARCUS delivered constant connectivity within the extended cellular service range. There were no dropouts or disconnections during handover between cell towers and network operators, and no impact on user experience.
“One of the beauties of the ARCUS and StellaDoradus partnership is diversity”, said Richie McGrath, operations manager at Voyager IP. “In Turkey, where cellular options are limited, we used SIMs from both local and global providers. This ensured that the vital second part of any cellular solution, the sims, provided the ARCUS with the highest quality of connection and capacity”.
A superior end-user experience is not the only outcome. Yacht management information, such as engine management data, must be transmitted regularly to central operations when the yacht is within range of strong cellular signals. The ARCUS allows important and time-sensitive data to be sent and received promptly.
Other features unique to Celerway technology include advanced WAN diversity and innovative implementation of Smart Queue Management that goes beyond classic QoS approaches. It also has robust hardware with the processing power to support these unique software features.
“Many vendors put ideal performance specs on their datasheets, and everyone knows that real-world performance is going to be substantially less,” says Elliott. “The Celerway ARCUS performed exactly as advertised, giving us a superior solution for our yacht customers.”
The ARCUS is available with up to two integrated backwards-compatible 5G modems, making it a future-proofed yacht connectivity solution as 5G proliferates in the near term.
Mark Elliott said, “The connectivity solution that we will be showcasing at SYT 21 is flexible and capable of being installed in its entirety or incorporated into existing infrastructure. We can solve many common issues such as dB loss over long cable runs. It will also allow centralisation of the M2M equipment into existing IT racks space, up to 25 meters from the above deck antenna, at the same time extending the cellular signal range up to 50 Km from the nearest tower”.
In addition, we can make it possible for owner and crew alike to use their own cellular connections at this extended range, thereby alleviating some of the strain on the onboard Wi-fi infrastructure,” Elliott continued.
For more information on smart connectivity solutions fit for the modern superyacht, drop in for a chat with Voyager IP on stand no.2 at SYTC 21 or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org