Offshore support and coastal trading vessels will be able to switch between VSAT and maritime 4G connectivity when a new service is launched in June
Marlink is combining its Ku-band VSAT with the 4G wireless communications networks from offshore production platforms.
Sealink Global 4G is a turnkey solution that provides worldwide coverage over high-throughput and widebeam satellites with wifi communications.
Vessel communications will automatically switch to low-latency mobile services when in Tampnet network range in the North Sea region and US Gulf. It will also switch to other 4G networks during coastal routes.
Tampnet operates 4G communications networks in the North, Norwegian and Barents seas, from production platforms and floating production systems. It also has an extensive communications network throughout the US side of the Gulf of Mexico, with transceivers on fixed installations and deepwater floating production infrastructure.
Tampnet serves more than 350 oil and gas platforms, floating production vessels and exploration drilling rigs.
Marlink said the Sealink Global 4G service package includes an onboard connectivity kit with options including a wifi antenna.
This means connectivity can seamlessly switch to available terrestrial 4G networks in coastal regions, depending on vessel owner preferences.
“Sealink Global 4G’s low-latency, high-throughput connectivity is a cost-effective back-up solution and complement to our global multi-band Sealink VSAT services,” said Marlink president of maritime Tore Morten Olsen.
“Crucially, it provides always-on connectivity even in areas where satellite communications are restricted.”
This can occur if there are obstructions between the VSAT antenna and satellite beams. These obstructions can occur if vessels are operating close to tall structures, such as offshore production platforms, or by the vessel’s own infrastructure.
“We have considered every eventuality in our drive to provide ships and crews with reliable 4G connectivity,” said Mr Olsen.
Management of the Marlink have built a group through acquisitions so that it now consists of:
Tampnet signed a deal in April to provide access to its network through Globalgig’s patented multi-IMSI [international mobile subscriber identity] SIM services. Globalgig provides wireless services for software-defined networking in wide area networks and for internet-of-things applications.
This partnership will create a single SIM that works both onshore and offshore for the oilfield services industry, equipment manufacturers and maritime markets including cruise ships, tankers and fishing vessels.
In May, Tampnet introduced a new reseller, IFB, for its connectivity to offshore sectors. Using Tampnet’s network, IFB will connect users, systems and data onshore and offshore from bases in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Houston, Texas. This is for rig-to-rig connectivity between the North Sea and the US Gulf using 4G, fibre and international connectivity networks.