Let’s hit the most essential point in the opening statement- nobody needs unlimited data. Mobile data is more affordable and much faster than traditional satellite internet, which is 4G internet solutions for yachts are more popular than ever. From mission-critical data uploads and browsing websites to downloading Crestron movies and streaming 4K binge-worthy Netflix series for guests; only a finite amount of data is needed. That data need could be a few GB or 100TB, either way, there’s always a number of units that can be attributed to an allowance.
“How much data do I need?”
In turn, that raises a tougher question – how do I know how much data I need? We’re not going to cover that in this article, but a good starting point is asking your current Vsat or mobile data supplier to give you a monthly average. Try checking your mobile data router – this can often give you a monthly overview of traffic. As an example, a Peplink device will show your weekly or monthly consumption.
Once you know your GB average, estimate your monthly cost with our data estimation tool. We’ll likely cover this question in future articles, so think about signing up below to receive article updates.
What “Unlimited data” for yacht internet means
Why unlimited data plans don’t work
Before delving into the types of unlimited yacht plans on offer, we need to take a look at why it’s impossible to offer these types of services.
Imagine you are a mobile data provider. You have contracts with network operators and purchase a bundle of data, let’s say you purchase 1TB (1024GB) per month for £1024. You decide to sell an unlimited internet plan for £2048 per month. Anything over 1TB will cost you £2 per GB.
- Buy at £1 per GB for first 1024GB
- Buy at £2 per GB for anything over 1024GB
- Sell at £2 per GB
You want to offer an unlimited plan. How would that work? I pay £1024 for 1TB, which means if the customer uses less than 1.5TB, I’m making money (my cost is £1024 for 1024GB and then £1024 for the next 512GB). Deciding that most customers will not use all that data, I call this an “unlimited data plan”.
But what if the customer is approaching 1.5TB and is likely to go over? At this point, a few things could happen – either the data will stop, the speed will throttle, or you’ll start losing money – and it could be a lot of money!
- Customer uses less than 1TB = Profit
- Customer uses 1.5TB = Break even
- Customer uses more than 1.5TB = Loss
That 1.5TB mark represents a breakeven point for the data provider. If the customer continues to use data, the data provider will start making a loss. It’s at this point a few things can happen…
Unlimited data - Pay as you go
Pay as you go plans are the only way to provide an unlimited amount of data. In essence, you pay for every MB or GB you use – allowing you to use as much bandwidth as required, without the fear of speed throttling or capping. In fact, this is exactly what 4G Yacht offers with our pay as you go boat data plans.
It can be expensive if you’re using a small amount of data, but it’s unlimited in the sense that you’ll always have as much data as you need.
Unlimited data - speed throttling
Unlimited data - capped / fair usage
Unlimited data - no catches
How much does “unlimited yacht internet data” cost?
Hopefully, by this point, you’ve concluded that unlimited data doesn’t exist. Many factors including the provider, your budget, the required location, and the number of SIM cards come into play. I said it at the start and I’ll say it again, stop looking for unlimited data plans and ask the question you that matters – “how much data do I need?”.
If you know how much data you need, you can estimate your costs – start by checking the data estimator on our pricing page or contact us to see how we provide unlimited yacht internet and other yacht solutions.