Speedcast announced today that in response to surging demand in the cruise and energy markets it serves, the company has significantly expanded its Unified Global Platform (UGP), adding 13 Gbps of capacity to its network over the last month. Speedcast operates one of the largest technology agnostic networks in the world. Following this latest expansion, the platform now includes 30 Gbps of total bandwidth, which the company leverages in the design and deployment of complete managed connectivity solutions for customers across energy, passenger and commercial maritime, and enterprise markets.
Speedcast’s network size now significantly surpasses the company’s 2020 pre-pandemic levels. This record-setting growth was driven in part by the cruise industry, which is slated to add 51 ships back into service during the month of May alone. Many cruise line restart plans include vessels returning to 100% capacity, and with the May additions, just under 350 ships and over 550,000 berths will be in service globally. Demand for high availability connectivity continues to grow on the energy front as well, with global offshore rig reports published this month noting a strong rise in day rates for jack-ups and floaters alike, and overall rig utilization at its highest level in seven years.
The rapid network expansion has been made possible in part by the company’s TrueBeam automated network management technology, which operates on the back of Speedcast’s UGP. TrueBeam enables truly proactive monitoring, automatically selecting the optimal network path for a remote site without human intervention by employing a quick and consistent process for fast and error-free switches.
Algorithmic technologies are critical to delivering the Speedcast network’s massive multi-path and multi-orbit capacity with high quality of service. The intelligent system understands, predicts, and mitigates network challenges based on changes in operating environment, giving remote sites the ability to switch among satellites and between routes to seamlessly maintain communications, even while moving in and out of a satellite beam’s coverage area. The company completed patent filings on the smart network management solution earlier this year.
“The fast ramp-up of capacity Speedcast achieved really shows the power of software-defined networks,” said Joe Spytek, Chief Executive Officer at Speedcast. “We’re able to deliver on the concept of ubiquitous connectivity to a remote site for the best user experience. We’re incorporating all available technologies and network options – multi-path and multi-orbit – to offer the most cost-effective connectivity solutions with the highest levels of availability and flexibility. Being technology-agnostic, we can also shield the customer from the risks of technology obsolescence and loss of service that come with dependence on a specific network.”
Speedcast completed the extensive upgrade over a five-week period in April and May and expanded its ground network to include the addition of a new teleport to support the added capacity, enabling access to a broader range of satellite infrastructure. Speedcast’s UGP includes multi-orbit options for high-demand applications. The company’s future-ready SD-WAN service, delivered through its SIGMA platform, seamlessly blends multiple transmission paths into a single, optimized, secure service to substantially improve performance and evolve customer operations to maximize what remote sites can achieve. The SIGMA cloud-based platform recently received technical validation by Amazon Web Services (AWS), designating Speedcast as an AWS Software Path partner.
Speedcast also recently announced that it will integrate low Earth orbit connectivity into its UGP as an official Distribution Partner to OneWeb, ensuring that customers in the maritime, energy and enterprise industries benefit from a multi-path, multi-orbit future. Customer demonstrations and trials of the low latency solution are due to begin next month.