When Inmarsat first launched FBB ( FleetBroadBand) as an” always on” service offering thepossibility to also browse the Internet, the united reaction in the market was: No way, paying perMB is a prohibitively costly price model. So, shipping companies continued to “roll out” Vsat as themain satellite carrier and having FBB as a backup.
SeaSecure followed the market demands and provided the dial-up customers with free email andfree sms + news, while we added thin chat for the FBB customers. We advised our FBB customersto only use the dedicated IP/port for the chat and email service. And of course shut down all otheraccess to the internet via the firewall. We developed a special optimized browsing for the Vsatcustomers, blocking all common ports (also blocking port 80) taking advantage of the specializedefficient made proxy for internet browsing, blocking audio/video and downloads.
In addition to all security and optimization, we developed a customer web site were the customersthemselves can directly set restrictions on the amount of data allowed for each user over thesatellite line on a daily or monthly basis. And we got acceptance for the solution in the market.We now have customers running our CrewCommCenter on Vsat where the Vsat users also takeadvantage of the free worldwide in/out sms service, thin chat in addition to optimized browsing.
What happened next?
We got a customer prospect wanting to install our CrewCommCenter on their vessels using FBBas the main satellite carrier. We were excited, but got “shaky” when the customer insisted on alsousing our optimized browsing. We agreed to “open” up for browsing as long as we did not get anyresponsibility for the airtime bill they would receive from Inmarsat. The customer also installedWiFi on board, offering the service to the crew using their private laptops in their cabins.
We offered a free trial to the customer and the installation was successful. We were anxious aboutthe airtime bill and often asked the customer; Are you sure about what you are doing? In the endthe customer got “fed up” about our worries and said: Hey, we got a very good fleet price planfrom Inmarsat, you do not need to worry about airtime, we do know what we are doing. And after the first monthly bill of internet usage, including crew laptops, the customer called us back saying:The trial went exactly as we had hoped. The usage is within our price plan. The customer now hasmore than 6 months experience on 8 of their vessels and are rolling out FBB with internet browsingto their entire fleet.
The SeaSecure solution can be deployed on any carrier that our customers use: Whether it is Vsat,Fleet 77, Iridium or FBB, our solution is adjusted to the possibilities that each carrier offers. But welearned from this experience that a change in price model in the marketplace can suddenly changethe scope of our solution.