Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink is partnering with Dubai-based marine electronics company Elcome International to provide internet services to the maritime industry.
The service uses Starlink’s low-Earth orbit satellites. It will connect vessels, like merchant ships, oil rigs, and luxury yachts, to internet speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional satellite services.
The Starlink technology allows broadband signals to be beamed down to Earth, in places where there is limited infrastructure on the ground, or it would expensive or difficult to put in.
Elcome is one of the largest marine technology system integrators in the world.
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 45 countries. It uses satellites that orbit the planet at between heights of 200km and 2,000km. The service provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Satellite internet is a viable option compared to regular internet services.
For the maritime industry, users can experience download speeds of up to 350Mbps while at sea, even from “the most remote waters in the world”, according to Starlink.
Elcome will equip its customers with advanced solutions that leverage the capabilities of Starlink. Orders will be fulfilled from Elcome’s logistics hubs in Dubai, Singapore, and Spain with a variety of installation and support options available.
Executive director of Elcome, Jimmy Grewal, said the UAE is a global hub of the maritime industry, and Elcome is uniquely positioned and equipped to broaden the installed base of Starlink in vessels operating in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.
Starlink is currently in 45 countries but is not yet available in the UAE.
Starlink most recently launched in Finland, where services were activated in November. Last month, the UK government said it was testing Starlink in order to help remote areas of the country get high-speed internet connections.