In 2016 Thru introduced Thru OptiBAND, a solution to speed up large data transfers over high latency connections like satellite. Industries such as marine shipping and cruise lines, which often suffer poor internet connections, can use OptiBAND to speed up the transmission of files and messages over slow connections.
Response from the maritime industry has been exceptionally strong due to OptiBAND’s ability to solve major problems that have plagued the cruise line and shipping industries for years (e.g. poor browsing experience for customers, unreliable data transfers, using up expensive bandwidth).
This blog will explain how OptiBAND works and how it is modernizing file delivery and improving browsing speeds for Carnival’s Costa Cruises.
How OptiBAND Works – File Transfer with Bandwidth Control
In the maritime industry, crew members must use slower satellite connections at sea for services like email, internet, voice calling, navigation and more. A task that causes many difficulties for crew members on these slow connections is when they need to send large files to other ships or at shore locations. Some of the main problems that arise are: Broken files transfers and painfully slow speeds during weather disruptions. In addition, file transfers use up expensive bandwidth, interfering with other services aboard ships like customer internet surfing and other communications sharing the connection.
With OptiBAND, maritime companies can simplify ship-to-shore data transfer communications by giving crew members an easy way to send files, while giving IT a way to automatically control bandwidth usage in real-time. Since OptiBAND integrates with user email clients on the backend, users can send and receive files as normal while OptiBAND reduces bandwidth usage, increases transfer speed and improves reliability via checkpoint restart.
The system uses a combination of different technologies like parallel block streaming, caching and role-based data prioritization to help companies stay on top of their mission critical needs and deal with fewer disruptions.
Costa Cruises Improves Passenger Internet Browsing Experience with OptiBAND
OptiBAND was initially developed for Costa Cruises (part of Carnival Corporation) for its crew to send large files without interfering with passenger bandwidth usage.
In an interview with International Cruise Ship Industry News, CEO of Thru, Lee Harrison, said: “Costa found that its crew sent logistical, medical and other information to the shore, which diminished bandwidth available for passenger usage.”
With OptiBAND, Costa can now prevent large files transfers from interfering with passenger browsing with numerous features that help better utilize the limited bandwidth of the connection. For example, when crew members send files, OptiBAND automatically prioritizes file transfers in real-time based on file size and priority while keeping bandwidth allocated to a predetermined level set by IT. Administrators can remotely control and monitor the bandwidth settings for all inbound and outbound file transfers from the ships and shore.
To continuously improve OptiBAND’s bandwidth allocation, a statistics-based algorithm measures the transfer path and is continuously refined as the need for communications increases. “OptiBAND is constantly re-adjusting itself to be at the most efficient level. The level of bandwidth can be prioritized from ashore. For example, at 2AM in the morning extra bandwidth can be used for data transfer” said Mr. Harrison.
Modernize Content Exchange at Sea with OptiBAND
Thru OptiBAND is a unique solution in the market that no other manufacturer offers and is used in the fields of logistics, oil and gas production, the travel industry, shipping and government. At Costa, the solution has improved the internet speed for thousands of passengers since its use, helping the workforce efficiently send corporate data and significantly reducing the cost of expensive satellite connections.