Buzz Network’s Hubba X4 Global is a low-cost high-speed broadband solution for vessels to use in place of VSAT when within reach of shore-based mobile phone networks with LTE data connections available.
Buzz Networks provides gateway devices that access mobile broadband networks or switch to satellite connections when out of range of a shore- based signal.
Company founder Steve Smith explained, “We have identified the potential for mobile networks to provide useable broadband connectivity where none exists or the alternative is cost prohibitive.
“A big issue has been a mixed bag of standards and frequencies around the world, making it difficult to offer a single device that will work in any country. The Hubba X4 Global addresses this issue, which is relevant to global shipping operators, meaning they can now save money in any country by hooking up to cheaper mobile networks rather than rely on expensive satellite data.”
The product has a network connection of up to 32 km offshore. Smith said the operating range offshore was dependent on many variables, such as the position of mobile base stations, the frequency in use, and atmospherics. “We have customers in countries using lower frequencies (700-900mhz) operation up to 60 km offshore,” he noted. “In the UK, using 1800-2100mhz, a good average would be 20 km.
“If cross-border operations are the norm, the customer has to ensure that their data SIM has a well-priced roaming plan enabled or that it can take advantage of the second SIM slot to use a different SIM that is better suited to each territory.”
Smith said that offering 5G was next on the company’s agenda.