The main area of business for Marconis company was to provide communications systems for ships. With the transatlantic link established more ships took the Marconi system on board. The first commercial installation on a merchant ship was completed in 1900, and by 1902 seventy ships had Marconi systems on board.The initial long distance transmissions had been made using very long wavelengths, typically in excess of 2000 metres. Then in the early 1920s the short wave bands were starting to be exploited. Many professionals including Marconi started to experiment with these bands carrying out many experiments.
With proof that the short wave bands could provide reliable communication over long distances the British Government decided that it needed to install an Imperial Wireless Network. The Marconi Company approached the British Government and offered to link up the Empire with short wave stations in England, Canada, India, South Africa and Australia. As the technology was very new and there was a high risk of failure the Government insisted that Marconi bore all the risk of failure. Once installed the system was very successful, and very reliable.