Given its global presence and the fact that ships are increasingly using satellite connectivity for operational efficiency, crew welfare and safety it is perhaps no surprise that the maritime sector does not strongly identify connectivity issues as impediments to IIoT-based solution uptake.

Only 20 per cent of maritime respondents cite connectivity as a barrier to adoption of IIoT-based solutions within their organisation – lower than any other sector. The finding is of significance because maritime is the sector most reliant on satellite connectivity for its IIoT-based solution adoption. No respondent at all disagreed with the proposition that satellite connectivity is ‘providing crucial support’ for their IIoT communications networks.

How well is the maritime sector adapting to the connectivity requirements of IIoT?

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

How well is the maritime sector adapting to the connectivity requirements of IIoT?

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

Some 69 per cent of maritime respondents say they rely on satellite connectivity to support their IIoT-based solutions, against 66 per cent using radio networks. Perhaps most remarkable – although not to the industry itself – is the maritime sector’s high usage of VSAT, which 41 per cent of respondents use to support their IIoT-based solutions, against an overall average VSAT use across a range of industries of just 9 per cent.

One caveat is the distinction between shipping and fishing, where VSAT is cited by 50 per cent of shipping respondents but only 15 per cent of fishers.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF COMMUNICATION NETWORKS NEEDED TO SUPPORT YOUR IIOT SOLUTIONS? (%)

51% Satellite
22% VSAT Satellite
21% Radio networks
1% Terrestrial networks
5% Don't know

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TYPES OF COMMUNICATION NETWORKS NEEDED TO SUPPORT YOUR IIOT SOLUTIONS? (%)

51% Satellite
22% VSAT Satellite
21% Radio networks
1% Terrestrial networks
5% Don't know
51%

rank satellite connectivity as '#1’ by usage

The pre-eminence of maritime satellite services overall is further demonstrated as respondents rank the networks supporting IoT connectivity. Here, satellite networks are ‘number 1’ by some distance, claiming 51 per cent first ranking by respondents, with VSAT achieving 22 per cent and radio networks 21 per cent.

Network coverage, security and cost were the most frequently cited considerations determining connectivity choice for their IoT-based solutions.

Maritime does not identify connectivity issues as impediments to IIoT uptake

The dominance of established satellite networks in the maritime space, and the collection of vessel performance data also accounts for the low uptake of maturing technologies that support IIoT-based solutions. Some 50 per cent of maritime respondents (45 per cent shipping and 64 per cent in fishing) do not use any other technology, while a further 16 per cent had no knowledge of any alternative technology used.

Technologies such as LoRaWAN, BlueTooth, Sigfox, SigB and ZigBee are currently making little impression, although RFID is playing a role, predominantly in asset tracking and port-side, with 16 per cent of maritime respondents using the solution, rising to 30 per cent among Japanese respondents.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT -INDUSTRIAL IOT ON LAND AND AT SEA: MARITIME

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