4G connectivity up to 15 miles offshore
Digital Yacht is a company in the marine electronics sector that has established itself by finding solutions in electronic navigation and communication that the major companies have overlooked.
It has produced a series of innovative products that have enabled better links between electronic systems and niche products that in many cases provide a valuable link between dedicated marine electronics and those in more widespread use.
This approach is reflected in some of their latest products recently introduced. 4G communications are coming to the mobile phone sector and the 4G network is currently available in coastal waters in many areas. Digital Yacht has developed their 4G Connect system that comes in two versions, one for use in harbour and one for use offshore. This Nomad unit uses MIMO technology for fast long range access and whilst it will work on all the normal networks Digital Yacht recommends the Vodafone network as having the best maritime coverage in Europe
In coastal waters it is claimed that the service can be available for up to 15 miles offshore and the 4G Connect Pro model not only allows connection to the service but can also act as a router to provide the service to laptops and computers as well as phones on board. This is achieved by two external high gain antenna to give exceptional long range performance. It also has wired LAN and WAN ports for direct connections.
Another new product is their portable Nomad AIS transponder that can be used to quickly provide a Class B AIS service on board. It is a fully independent unit that can be powered from a USB connection or from normal on board power supplies. It comes complete with its own portable antenna which is fitted with a suction can for quick and easy attachment.
As is normal with an AIS the Nomad AIS is fitted with its own GPS chip and it has the ability to connect with tablets, PC’s and phones which allows it to integrate with electronic chart systems so that the AIS information can be displayed on the chart in the normal way. This connection can be by both wireless and USB interfaces.
The market for this portable AIS is likely to come from professional skippers who move from boat to boat perhaps on delivery voyages, or from companies that may charter boats for specific operations such as a survey or dredging operation. With this quick to install portable unit they can ensure that they have a working AIS onboard in a navigation environment where it is becoming increasingly the case that a vessel does not exist unless it is visible to other shipping by AIS.
By Dag Pike
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