VSAT will be faster for cruise ships, ferries and OSVs
Telenor Satellite will triple connectivity speeds for passenger ships, offshore support vessels (OSVs) and superyachts using its regional VSAT services.
The Oslo-headquartered group will boost data speeds from its Thor 7 satellite, delivering Ka-band VSAT to vessels operating in Europe and across the North Atlantic, in collaboration with IT platform producer Newtec.
Passenger ships and vessels will be migrated to the Newtec Dialog platform, which enables satellite operators to build and adapt infrastructures and satellite networking for vessel owners.
This service will be available for high-end users of Thor 7 Ka-band, such as ferries, cruise ships and OSVs.
Telenor Satellite director of data services Jan Hetland explained to Maritime Digitalisation & Communications why the company is upgrading its VSAT platform to deliver more bandwidth to seafarers and guests on cruise ships, ferries and OSVs.
“Our highest profile on Ka-band is with 35 Mbps downlink and 6 Mbps uplink,” he said. “We are pushing the boundaries of the current platform. So we have launched the Newtec Dialog platform to keep up with rising requirements from offshore vessels, ferries and yachts.”
This new platform will “be able to achieve more than 100 Mbps using selected beams on Thor 7”. This will increase capacity for voice, data, email and internet communications.
“Our current customers have a mix of requirements,” said Mr Hetland. “There is increasing demand on our network for social media applications such as Facebook and YouTube.” He added voice over IP was also an important application over Ka-band VSAT. “We are committed to meeting that demand and ensuring our service delivers the highest possible throughput. This Newtec Dialog platform will enable us to achieve that goal.”
Thor 7 was launched in 2015. It provides Ka-band connectivity over the North Sea, North Atlantic, Norwegian Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Its payload uses high-power spot beams making it ideal for the mobility VSAT market.
Newtec head of mobility Andrew Faiola said collaboration with Telenor Satellite was an important milestone for the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform. “In today’s era of anywhere, anytime connectivity, satellite operators are required to provide increasingly better coverage, as well as higher bandwidth and faster services,” he said.
Singapore Technologies Engineering, which owns IT platform producer iDirect, is acquiring Newtec in a deal valued at €250M (US$280M).
Through this acquisition, ST Engineering seeks to accelerate deployment of satcom-enabled 5G, which will expand coverage of high-bandwidth connectivity in remote regions used by shipping, bringing benefits such as communications, crew welfare and telemedicine.