The Broadband of Competitive Advantage

Posted by Eric Haun
Friday, May 09, 2014
Frank Coles (Photo courtesy Inmarsat)

Inmarsat Maritime President Frank Coles said the efficiency gains of the “Maritime Industrial Internet” are at hand, if only shipowners can grasp the potential for competitive advantage.

The first satellite in the Global Xpress fleet will complete all of its testing by July of this year, with the second and third satellites on schedule to be launched by the close of 2014. The Global Xpress Maritime service is expected to become globally available from the end of the first quarter of 2015. This will be the first worldwide commercial Ka-band mobile satellite system and will deliver ship-to-shore high-performance download speeds of up to 50Mbps.

Global Xpress will arrive at a time of unprecedented expectations for ship-to-shore connectivity. Driven by both commercial and regulatory pressures, data exchanges now routinely involve chart data, routing, engine rpm and fuel selection, while crew connectivity is a welfare issue identified within the Maritime Labour Convention.

Part of a US$1.6 billion program commitment, Global Xpress marks what Inmarsat Maritime President Frank Coles calls a ‘game-changing’ upgrade on Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband (FBB), covering 99.984% of the globe.

“Ashore, we take connectivity completely for granted, with 12 billion objects connected to the internet today and an estimated 50 billion to be connected by 2020,” said Coles. “The performance and flexibility we get at home or the office will be available via Global Xpress. This will demand a change in mind-set for shipowners, who tend to fight every communications penny without considering the value to be gained.”

Coles characterizes the majority in shipping as “Internet immigrants” to highlight a constituency part-way through its working lives when the internet revolution happened. Perhaps, he said, only “Internet natives” are fully equipped to accept the potential that communications technology holds to transform ship operations and management.

“Today, communications represent less than one per cent of operating expenditure for the shipowner,” he said. “The average merchant ship in our portfolio spends $50 a day on communications ship-to-shore.

“A study by ESRG (Engineering Software Reliability Group) has suggested that overall optimized efficient operations could save $1 million per ship per year,” said Coles. “That is the context in which shipowners should consider that spending $50 more per day per ship will deliver 10 times more data 10 times faster.”

A ‘Maritime Industrial Internet’ could harvest data generated by the sensors that are already widely installed on ships in a holistic way, said Coles. Investing in communications would unleash the power of advanced analytics, so that data can be integrated, validated and analyzed.

As the regulatory burden mounts, he said those not persuaded may simply end up paying for a smart ship whose ‘smartness’ is determined by regulators.

Some early movers are awake to the competitive advantages available, said Coles, citing inclusion of remote monitoring/equipment uptime in sales propositions offered by engine makers. Again, shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries is offering post-delivery ship care packages based on sensor monitoring.

He does not necessarily blame the average shipowner for being cautious. “There are over 100 VSAT services out there spinning a story or trying to get into the market. But sellers sell first and back end costs can lack transparency,” he said.

Global Xpress will offer each ship its own CISCO server linked to cloud computing capability. The costs of the satellite operator and the enabling distributor will be transparently billable, said Coles.

“As a satellite operator first, we are in a unique position, not only because we will offer the enabling platform to deliver broadband connectivity ship-to-shore; our service will deliver committed information rates, rather than simply marketing maximum information rates.”
 

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Marine Electronics

Seagull Maritime Response on Safety, Security

Key areas of concern for seafarer safety and security in both marine and offshore operations have triggered the release of six new and one supplementary titles

Transas Simulators Boosts Western Shipping Training Center

Transas Marine Pacific has successfully completed the upgrade of a simulator complex for Western Shipping Pte. Ltd. training center. The simulator class was

AN/SPY-1 SSSA Completes Critical Design Review

The Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for AN/SPY-1 radar Solid-State Switch Assembly (SSSA)'s high voltage modulator completed Aug. 26, confirming that the

Electronics

AN/SPY-1 SSSA Completes Critical Design Review

The Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for AN/SPY-1 radar Solid-State Switch Assembly (SSSA)'s high voltage modulator completed Aug. 26, confirming that the

Brommeland to Supply KNS VSATs to Kopervik

Brommeland Elektronikk AS, the Norwegian distributor for KNS, was awarded a contract to supply 13 VSAT systems to a large part of the Norwegian shipowner Kopervik Group fleet.

MARIN Forms 'Maritime Cluster' Facility

Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) announced the formal investment of 2 million Euros in a large and fast Bull computer cluster (4000 computational cores).

Communication

Seagull Maritime Response on Safety, Security

Key areas of concern for seafarer safety and security in both marine and offshore operations have triggered the release of six new and one supplementary titles

Antwerp Port Seeks Inputs on Setting-up LNG bunkering

By the beginning of 2016 the port of Antwerp will have an LNG bunkering and filling station for barges. The procedure for construction of the station is currently under way.

AN/SPY-1 SSSA Completes Critical Design Review

The Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for AN/SPY-1 radar Solid-State Switch Assembly (SSSA)'s high voltage modulator completed Aug. 26, confirming that the

SatCom

Brommeland to Supply KNS VSATs to Kopervik

Brommeland Elektronikk AS, the Norwegian distributor for KNS, was awarded a contract to supply 13 VSAT systems to a large part of the Norwegian shipowner Kopervik Group fleet.

GVF Launches Maritime Communications Glossary

Lexicon of Communications Terminology to be applied to Communications Solution Provider & Solutions User Dialogues During the Informa VSAT 2014 conference in London,

Seasat Wins Contract from Maersk Supply Services

Seasat A/S, the Danish communications services provider, specialized in delivering reliable broadband, television and voice services for the maritime market announces

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Salvage Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1441 sec (7 req/sec)