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SEVSAT was developed from 2000 to 2003 and was initially based on space segment allocations from Eutelsat and Stratos who had implemented the iDirect technology from iDirect on some of their satellites. In 2004 however, Stratos closed down their maritime broadband division, leaving Ship Equip without a satellite provider for its SEVSAT service which at that time had in excess of 20 users, and was becoming increasingly popular. The solution turned out to be the start-up space segment broker New Wave Broadband and the worlds largest satellite operator Intelsat who independently decided to implement iDirect technology on the 907 satellite that covered central and northern Europe, where customers of Ship Equip at that time primarily was located.
This fortunate turn of events provided a boost for Ship Equip and from 2004 to 2006 while focusing primarily on its local markets in the Offshore, Oil and Gas and Fisheries segments the number of SEVSAT customers increased rapidly to pass 100 installed systems early in 2006 and 200 systems by mid-2007. The rate of growth during this period caught the attention of the media and in April 2006 the leading financial newspaper in Norway, Dagens Næringsliv ran a feature article titled "Preparing to compete Telenor at sea", indicating that Ship Equip was challenging Telenor which at that time was the market leader in maritime VSAT. (Shortly after, Telenor Satellite Services was purchased and merged with France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications (FTMSC) under the Vizada brand). The article initiated further press coverage from regional newspaper Sunnmørsposten and national newspaper Finansavisen.
The following years SEVSAT became increasingly popular also in the worldwide shipping market and by the beginning of 2010 more than 750 systems were installed and another 200 systems sold. In 2009 the Comsys group's annual VSAT report quoted Ship Equip as having a 14.3% share in the maritime VSAT market.
SEVSAT consist of above deck equipment - ADE and below deck equipment - BDE. The ADE consist of the antenna which except for some early deliveries are SeaTel antennas. Two types of SEVSAT systems exist, C-band and Ku-band, denoting the frequency range in which they are capable of receiving a satellite signal. The C-band antennas are generally large, from 2.4 meters to 3.6 meters in dish diameter. The Ku-band antennas are smaller, from 1 meter to 1.5 meters in dish diameter. See the Wikipedia article about VSAT. The below deck equipment most commonly consist of one electronic rack containing the following components: an iDirect modem, the SEVSAT Global satellite switching unit, a DAC, Cisco Routers, telephone adapters and a UPS.
- Dagens Næringsliv, 10th of April 2006, page 14
- Apax Partners Acquires Telenor Satellite Services and Integrates the Company into Vizada
- The Comsys VSAT report 10th edition, page 73, pie chart