The Telecom26 blog

Read the latest news and insights into industry topics and research from our team.

The Greatest Sailing Race In the World: solo, non-stop and with no assistance

The Vendée Globe Round The World Race describes itself as the greatest sailing race ever:  around the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance apart from through Maritime Communications.  The sailors have to find their own way round the earth, carry out repairs and take care of themselves.  They are not allowed to step ashore beyond the high tide mark.

Vendee Globe 2020

33 sailors left France in November and will sail 44,996 km/24,296 miles down the Atlantic, across the Indian and Pacific oceans and then back up the Atlantic.

The fastest winner so far completed the journey in 74 days and 3 hours. You can see where the various boats are at this very moment by visiting the race tracking map

Far quicker than Jeanne Socrates, a 77-year-old British woman, who last year became the oldest person to sail around the world alone, non-stop, and unassisted. We wrote about her 320-day journey in an earlier blog Sailing The High Seas: IoT Maritime Connectivity keeps the crew of yachts connected.

However, despite their solitude, communications is, of course, an essential tool for the Vendée Global competitors. Fascinating videos shot on phones by the sailors can be seen here.

Telecom26 provides IoT maritime connectivity, maritime cellular communications and nearshore maritime connectivity services to leisure yachts, fishing boats, cruise ships, tankers and cargo ships of all shapes, sizes and countries of origin. 

Yachting is a particularly niche market well served by both our nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity capabilities.

IoT Maritime Connectivity at Sea

Sailing today is a sport and leisure activity whose safety has been transformed by electronic communications and the development of IoT and AI technologies enabling real-time monitoring of a boat’s position, condition - and alerting skippers to potential future difficulties.

A far cry from the romance, and unreliability, of relying on the stars…

For years, satellite has been the mainstay for maritime connectivity - nearshore and offshore. Fact is, however, that most vessels spend the majority of their time in port or hugging the coast.  This means that it’s far more cost-effective to use existing cellular networks for nearshore maritime connectivity rather than satellite. 

However, the major problem with the cellular at sea approach is that traditionally multiple SIMs have been required to ensure coverage throughout a vessel’s journey, especially when it’s travelling cross-border.

With the specific goal of improving connectivity at sea - and in remote landlocked areas around the world, Telecom26 developed its Multi-IMSI global SIM cards paired with the Telecom26 cellular router, which are at the heart of our nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity services.

With just one of our SIMs the devices of sailors will automatically and seamlessly switch from one local network to another throughout their voyage.    

Telecom26 SIMs are compatible with 1100 cellular networks from over 620 mobile operators in more than 220 countries which means that wherever your sea legs take you, we’ll be connecting you all the way.

Smart yachts:  communicating data from multiple on-board sensors

For yachts - and larger vessels of course - that have, or will have, multiple sensors tracking the condition of both the ship and its contents, a more sophisticated solution is needed.

This is where Telecom26’s multi-IMSI routers come in. These act as a single route into the on-board IoT network and, like our single global SIMs, can automatically switch between multiple cellular networks - and wifi, LANs and satellite - so that they always use the best available connected network.

With rates as low as €2 per GB, and data bundles of up to 2.5TB, Telecom26’s nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity service is now even more affordable - and optimised for yachts, ships and offshore infrastructure.

To learn more about Telecom26’s suite of nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity services please visit  click here.

And, finally, wishing all the sailors in this year’s Vendée Global safe travels and the best of luck.

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