5G Router Dips Its Toes In Supercharged Maritime Connectivity


  • An 80-foot catamaran required a new connectivity infrastructure for better coverage.
  • Peplink’s Balance 310X 5G makes a reliable 5G router suitable for maritime environments with its 5G capabilities and fanless design.
  • Other network components, such as Peplink’s access points, antennas, and FusionHub virtual appliance, help enhance connectivity at sea.

Creating a supercharged connectivity solution for a maritime vessel requires picking the right components. This includes finding the right 5G router to pick up the best possible signals at sea, or implementing failover technologies for backup and redundancy.

In the Oceania region, an owner regularly takes his 80-foot catamaran for sailing all over the Pacific. Known to be stable and spacious, this catamaran is also used to host parties, intimate gatherings, and events. To cater to the day-to-day and event bandwidth needs on the vessel, the owner was looking to fit his catamaran with a new 5G router and connectivity infrastructure.

Fishing for the Right 5G Router

Working with a Peplink partner, the first component to be sorted was which 5G router can support the bandwidth requirements. Onboard connectivity is required specifically for GPS, communications, working on the catamaran, and for entertainment use, such as streaming.

With 5G capabilities, the Balance 310X 5G router has access to faster speeds and lower latency. Additionally, its fanless design makes it suitable for vessels where there is greater chance for moisture or dust. This 5G router was set up as the core of the connectivity solution.

Steering Clear of Dead Spots

Once the central 5G router was in place, the next concern to be addressed was signal coverage across the entire catamaran. While it can be common to set several routers in Access Point (AP) mode, this equates to more routers and service plans to monitor.

As a more cost-effective yet reliable alternative, 7 AP One AXs were set up in different locations. Access points were placed at the starboard, port, sundeck, aft deck, and saloon. All these were linked back to the Balance 310X 5G router through an SD Switch 16-Port Rugged.

To extend the distance of signal reception and transmission, 2 Maritime 40G antennas were added. And when cellular or 5G signals are out of reach, the network can fail over to Starlink connectivity brought by 2 Starlink dishes on the catamaran’s port and starboard.

Assistance On the Horizon

An established FusionHub was also included in the solution to avail of network enhancing technologies while avoiding the need for additional hardware. Linked back to the Peplink partner’s FusionHub, the Balance 310X 5G router enables Hot Failover, for truly seamless failover on the catamaran. Bandwidth bonding is also available for aggregating multiple available connections together for larger bandwidth needs.

A supercharged maritime network for a catamaran is achieved with a Peplink 5G router and other network components. This newly deployed solution allowed the catamaran to confidently leave the dock without having to leave behind reliable connectivity. Even when miles away from the shore and cellular signals, the owner knew the vessel had a backup connection for all his applications to fail over to.