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Leading international satellite service operator IEC Telecom has acquired superyacht communications specialist Maritime Network Systems, further strengthening its position in the yachting sector

Maritime network IEC Telecom Group’s strategy to enable digitalisation across all maritime sectors. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

This acquisition, part of IEC Telecom Group’s strategy to enable digitalisation across all maritime sectors, will enable the company to expand its innovative portfolio of hybrid satellite/LTE solutions across the Mediterranean region.

Headquartered in the heart of the western Mediterranean Sea, Maritime Network Systems (MNS) has been providing tailor-made satellite and LTE broadband connectivity services and solutions to the yachting industry for more than 22 years. Becoming part of the IEC Telecom Group means the firm’s high-end yachting customers will benefit from a wider range of connectivity solutions –  including cutting-edge Starlink connectivity, customised VSAT systems, resilient L-band backup, plus IEC telecom’s collection of value-added services.

With 47% of world yacht trips based in the Mediterranean, this strategic move significantly strengthens IEC Telecom Group’s position in the yachting sector. Alongside its established east Mediterranean centre in Istanbul, this new VIP hub in Mallorca enables IEC Telecom to expand its service and support operations further to meet the growing demand for secure, high-throughput connectivity onboard yachts and superyachts.

“Welcoming MNS to IEC Telecom Group is a new milestone in our journey to transforming the maritime communications market. The niche expertise of MNS coupled with an advanced solution portfolio from IEC Telecom will enable real-time network management for captains and very high-throughput quality browsing for end-users. We aim to resolve the challenges that yacht operators face by providing services which satisfy the ever-evolving need for high-speed data transmission and analysis and reliable connectivity,” explained Erwan Emilian, CEO at IEC Telecom Group.

According to the latest Superyacht Connectivity Report, the demand for high broadband onboard is escalating and, by 2025, 74% of yacht owners expect to increase their satcom budget by more than 25%. The trend is driven by the increased use of cloud-based and IoT applications onboard. Most modern apps require low-latency capacity which is not always possible over traditional GEO-stationary networks.  By joining IEC Telecom Group, MNS can offer optimised and app-friendly solutions for VSAT antennas and supply new low-latency LEO (low earth orbit) services to the yachting sector.

“Agility and innovation have always been the cornerstones of MNS philosophy. Each yacht has a unique connectivity setup and requires an individualised approach. Joining IEC Telecom Group allows us to expand the flexibility of our offer to our VIP clients,” commented Jan Holmen, general manager, Maritime Network Systems.

An increased number of hacker attacks in the yachting sector and new international requirements for cyber security have shifted the focus of vessel owners from connectivity alone to developing comprehensive network infrastructure. OneGate network management system by IEC Telecom has proven its efficiency for commercial shipping, oil and gas, fishing, and racing vessels. Thanks to the MNS acquisition, this asset will be accessible to yachting too.

“Data privacy is the first priority for IEC Telecom. With Starlink, the latest addition to our satcom portfolio, high-speed and fully secured data access is now available even for a 20-meter yacht. At the same time, building on our expertise in servicing large-scale vessels, we are well-equipped to offer robust cyber security infrastructure for mega yachts,” added Emilian. “We are now sailing full-steam ahead on our voyage to spread digitalisation at sea.”