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February 19, 2013
Cruise Connectivity is a Breeze with Buzz Marine's Intelligent Switchbox

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

Staying connected no matter what has become the norm, whether you’re on land, in the air or at sea. With boat owners demanding that they be able to stay connected while cruising, VSAT communications systems and later HubbaX from Buzz Connect allowed them to access an Internet connection in the latter setting from their personal devices.

U.K.-based Buzz Marine, the supplier of HubbaX mobile broadband for maritime applications, has taken another step in this direction with the introduction of an ‘intelligent switchbox,’ which allows an automatic switch from a vessel’s VSAT communications system to its land-based mobile system on which the HubbaX operates.

Such a changeover helps eliminate expensive on-board satellite communication costs. The new software enables HubbaX to seamlessly make the transfer from VSAT and provide Wi-Fi for laptops, tablets and other mobile devices.

HubbaX has antenna technology that is considerably more powerful than standard mobile reception of the vessel, and can extend the reach of the unit until many miles offshore, making telephony and connectivity cost effective, reliable, flexible and scalable.

With download speeds of seven Mbps and upload speeds of one Mbps, HubbaX enables boat owners to access weather and other important information, easily and seamlessly.

The water- and weather-proof HubbaX unit can be mounted on the coach roof or mast and is powered by a 12v DC power pack. It is also protected by industry standard security protocol WEP, WPA and WPA2.

As VoIP telephony is also available, boat owners will benefit from a landline equivalent handset on board. They can make inexpensive landline calls, as well as free calls, to other Buzz VoIP phones. This comes in handy when the boats are around the coast.

The HubbaX has an rrp of $922 plus VAT, while the new VSAT switch system costs an additional $194 plus VAT – negotiable if part of a Buzz package.

Getting broadband at sea or on inland waterways, whether for commercial marine or for pleasure, is apparently no longer an issue. So enjoy your cruise and stay connected inexpensively.

Edited by Braden Becker

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