Internet at Sea: Staying Connected

By Greg Trauthwein
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Clarksons Research estimates that by 2020 the convergence between IT and shipbuilding will be worth $35 billion. Pictured is Frank Coles, Inmarsat.

The maritime industry is at a crossroads, with a dearth of next-generation talent willing and available for a life at sea, yet increasing demands for efficiency and clarity of operations. At this crossroads lies modern communication technology, the connective tissue that can help to cure many of the industry’s ills, as Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime, contends.
 

Commercial shipping will always remain a pivotal link in the global transport chain, but the very nature of the industry is changing rapidly as the current group of mariners age and there is a decided lack of ample replacements available. Quite simply, the “millennials” are a generation more enamored with the computer screen than the operation and management of ships at sea.


While technology is part of the problem, it also is potentially a part of the solution, as increasingly ship owners – whether they like it or not – are providing mariners on commercial ships and boats a more dynamic and robust internet connectivity, allowing for an experience closer to shore side solutions and providing mariners the means to stay in touch with friends and family, as well as broadening entertainment options.


“When I go out and talk to seafarers and ship owners, what I hear is ‘we don’t want to give them internet because they will use it when they are on watch. We don’t want to give them movies because they’ll watch them into the middle of the night.’
So they (ship owners) put controls around it or they restrict it all together,” said Frank Coles, President of Inmarsat Maritime. Obviously it is in the best interest of Inmarsat and Coles … and for that matter all high-end suppliers of maritime communication solutions … that those attitudes change.
“First, don’t put internet access on the bridge. Second, if you give them access to the internet, and you give them tools and treat them like grown adults, then they will behave like grown adults. The moment you try to restrict it, they will abuse it.”


Coles is determined that Inmarsat stay on the forefront of connectivity matters for mariners, and was a driving force in the in the creation and recent introduction of Fleet Media, a new service to debut in July 2014.


Fleet Media will allow the latest films, as well as television programming, sport and news, to be viewable by the world’s shipping fleet. A globally-exclusive, five-year agreement allows for the content’s digital distribution via Inmarsat FleetBroadband.
A selection of movie and television packages will be offered every month, beamed directly to participating vessels over the Inmarsat network for ‘offline’ viewing on PCs, laptops and tablets.


Fleet Media will be available to all Inmarsat broadband service subscribers and content will be securely downloaded and stored on the vessel’s Inmarsat iFusion box. The service is transferable with any upgrade from one Inmarsat service to the next – such as FleetBroadband to XpressLink.

Market Drivers
While new rules such as the Maritime Labor Convention 2016 (MLC 2006) are touted to help the mariner, Coles is skeptical of its impact.


“The Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) requires ship owners to supply some internet connectivity,” said Coles. “Because the convention is so loosely drafted though, just giving access to internet, or just giving access to email, it does not quantify the cost or quantify the quality of the connection.
So you see everything from the (ship owners who are) leaders and innovators that are providing a (communications) pipe that is high quality, to the other end where it is a very poor connection, worse than dial up. But they have the check box.”


“The new generation (of mariners) are internet natives, they take the communications part of all of this for granted; they don’t think about how the internet gets into your house, they just expect it to be there,” said Coles. “The trick with the ship owner is to just expect the comms to be there. They do expect it to be there, they just don’t want to pay for the cost of a $400m satellite. But as we provide this new communications pipe, the crew benefits and the price will come down as well.”


Apart from crew connectivity, Coles sees the increasing flow of data, specifically data to and from onboard machinery and systems, as the second big driver in the maritime communications market. “CISCO estimates that by 2020 there will be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the internet, all providing information. There’s already 12 billion,” Coles said.


While ‘the automated ship’ has long been theorized and debated, Coles said increasing the level of automation starts in the shipyard. “Hyundai and other yards are building ships with equipment that is all sensored” Coles said. “Hyundai themselves are selling ships on the basis that you buy the ship and you can buy a contract so once the ship has sailed it will continue to monitor, maintain and look after the ship.


Clarksons Research have estimated that by 2020 the convergence between IT and shipbuilding will be worth $35 billion. The convergence between sensors and things that are connected to deliver data and creating a smarter way of operating will be put on ships.”
In Coles estimation the remote monitoring is the bigger piece, citing research from ESRG that estimates that just looking at  today’s fleet, there is $20B of value that can be created by remotely monitoring and putting sensors on ships.


“That means pulling the cylinder before it fails, arriving to port on time, it means that just getting all of this information and running your ship smartly from shore,” said Coles. “They (ESRG) think you can save up to $1m per ship per year if you input remote monitoring of a smart ship with sensors and analytics, and using algorithms to come out with smarter business decisions. None of this is possible in shipping without a robust, industrial grade communications platform.”

 

(As published in the June 2014 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News - http://magazines.marinelink.com/Magazines/MaritimeReporter)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

OOCL Tops the Chart in Reliability

According to the latest Carrier Performance Insight, produced by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors,  the most reliable carrier in May was Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL),

Senate Confirms Three to Serve on Federal Maritime Commission

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nominations of three individuals to serve as Federal Maritime Commissioners: Rebecca F. Dye, Michael A. Khouri and Daniel B. Maffei.

Xeneta: No Silver Lining for Container Shipping in Brexit Storm

Xeneta, a  global benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerized ocean freight, believes that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will

Technology

IOMAXIS Awarded $245 Mln Contract to Support NRL

Contract will allow IOMAXIS to provide research, development and technical support to initiatives at the Naval Research Lab   IOMAXIS, provider of technologies

Broadband Upgrade for MSC Cruises

Intelsat S.A. has been selected by Marlink to deliver fast, high quality Intelsat EpicNG broadband connectivity to Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) cruise ships.

Delgado Fire and Industrial School Deploys Transas Technology

In a brand new 19,000 square foot Maritime and Industrial Training Center in New Orleans, the Delgado Fire and Industrial School offers training via a combination

Navigation

Paris MoU Reports Decrease in 'Bans'

Paris MoU reports that 2015 shows a large decrease in the refusal of access (“bans”) within the region: 11 bans compared to 20 in 2014. The detention percentage has remained stable at 3.

China Slams South China Sea Case as Court Set to Rule

An international court said on Wednesday it would deliver a hotly anticipated ruling in the Philippines' case against China over the South China Sea on July 12,

Waterway Reopened after Barge Grounding

The U.S. Coast Guard has opened the Red River from mile marker 40 to mile marker 42 for vessel traffic, Monday.   The Red River had been closed due to a barge that had run aground at mile marker 41,

Marine Equipment

Norsafe Secures Contract with VARD Group

Norsafe informs it has signed a new contract with VARD Group, and will supply lifeboats complete with davit systems to a series of 15 new vessels.    Topaz Energy

Solstad CSV Gets Propulsion Overhaul at Gibdock

Gibraltar’s Gibdock shipyard has completed its scope of work on Solstad Shipping’s Normand Cutter, a 127-meter-long, 10,979grt construction support vessel (CSV)

Rolls-Royce Azimuth Thrusters Ordered for New Tug

Rolls-Royce has won an order for US255 FP z-drives from San Francisco’s Vessel Chartering LLC, a wholly owned division of Baydelta Navigation. The thrusters will

Electronics

Broadband Upgrade for MSC Cruises

Intelsat S.A. has been selected by Marlink to deliver fast, high quality Intelsat EpicNG broadband connectivity to Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) cruise ships.

Delgado Fire and Industrial School Deploys Transas Technology

In a brand new 19,000 square foot Maritime and Industrial Training Center in New Orleans, the Delgado Fire and Industrial School offers training via a combination

Radio Holland Wins Contracts for Canadian Coast Guard Vessels

Radio Holland Canada has won two major contracts to support the Canadian Coast Guard. Public Works and Government Services Canada, which is responsible for government procurement,

People in the News

Senate Confirms Three to Serve on Federal Maritime Commission

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nominations of three individuals to serve as Federal Maritime Commissioners: Rebecca F. Dye, Michael A. Khouri and Daniel B. Maffei.

NAT Takes Delivery of Suezmax, Earnings Capacity Up

Nordic American Tankers Limited ("NAT" or "the Company") announced that it today took delivery of a Suezmax vessel, the Nordic Sirius, built at a shipyard in Japan.

SOLAS Container Mass Verification Rule Enter into force

A new regulation requiring the gross mass of a container to be verified before it is loaded onto a ship enters into force today (1 July 2016). It will assist in

Communication

Broadband Upgrade for MSC Cruises

Intelsat S.A. has been selected by Marlink to deliver fast, high quality Intelsat EpicNG broadband connectivity to Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) cruise ships.

Radio Holland Wins Contracts for Canadian Coast Guard Vessels

Radio Holland Canada has won two major contracts to support the Canadian Coast Guard. Public Works and Government Services Canada, which is responsible for government procurement,

Essberger Fleet Moves to Marlink’s Sealink VSAT Service

The Hamburg headquartered John T. Essberger (JTE) Group will migrate the primary communication systems of its entire fleet to Sealink, Marlink’s global maritime broadband VSAT service.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1357 sec (7 req/sec)