February 13, 2015

S@iLink brings 4G to the sea

S@iLink brings 4G to the sea

4G coverage is becoming quite widespread inland, but the maritime industry has so far been left behind. S@iLink, a new 4G system from MVG, aims to solve that problem.

The S@iLink terminal is essentially just a small box with two antennas which you can connect to a PC and a wireless router via an Ethernet connection, providing wireless internet access to everyone on board the boat or ship that the S@iLink itself is on.

It provides high speed 4G connectivity with speeds of up to 100Mbps at up to 20 nautical miles from shore, picking up a 4G signal from the nearest mast and if there’s no 4G coverage in the area it will simply fall back on slower network signals to stay connected.

Other than being long range another feature which makes it sea-worthy is that it accounts for the indirect path often caused by a signal reflecting off the water.

Normally this would make internet access intermittent and unstable, but S@iLink takes both this and the roll and pitch of a ship into account, using two antennas and spatial diversity to ensure that if one is having issues the other will maintain a good signal.

It’s also designed to withstand humidity and salt spray, making it an ideal fit for a life at sea. Plus while previous super-fast internet connections have proved prohibitively expensive at sea, the S@iLink comes in at a relatively affordable price of under €1000 (£742).

S@iLink isn’t available yet, but you can pre-order it now and delivery is listed for April 30th onwards.

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