A partnership between IEC Telecom and GTMaritime will make vital communications data more widely available at sea
An onboard voice service has become essential to receive navigation updates, port notifications and operational instructions. Voice and data will now be available over one compact antenna with minimal bandwidth requirements.
The connectivity package, MarineStar E-Lite, provides voice and data connectivity. Voice services are delivered over Thuraya’s Marine Star terminal, while email provision comes via IEC Telecom’s OneMailLite application, powered by GTMaritime.
This package is equipped with a fleetwide shoreside dashboard for full visibility over performance, threat management, enabling remote changes to system configurations and real-time management of consumption limits. In addition, all files transferred are compressed up to 95% to save on airtime costs.
IEC Telecom Group chief executive Asia, Middle East & CIS Nabil Ben Soussia said MarineStar E-Lite’s affordability makes it practical for small vessels. “There is no need for long-term commitments or heavy airtime plans and no hidden costs either. This package is geared to cover the basic communication requirements and it does it well.”
By default, MarineStar offers two lines to separate corporate communication and crew welfare. The inclusion of the email app will allow the voice terminal to serve as a communication tool for small and mid-sized vessels as well as a back-up option for large VSAT-equipped vessels.
“Cargo vessels, tankers and bulk carriers are well prepared to support the rising demand for digital connectivity. With VSAT on board, crews have an almost GSM user experience. However, a lot of our customers, especially in Asia and MENA regions, own mid- and small-sized vessels that have no room or budget for such a set up. During the pandemic, the need for connectivity has become more apparent, particularly for the fishing industry and for offshore support vessels,” explained Mr Soussia.
“The impact of travel restrictions, port closures and other Covid-19-operating requirements meant the precise co-ordination of their work became more important than ever, particularly considering the need to decrease crew capacity to ensure social distancing. With a reliable email service on board, such precision became achievable.”
GTMaritime said OneMailLite will ensure emails are successfully delivered, even if the vessel passes through an area with no signal. The app continues to work offline and automatically resumes data transfer from point of interruption.
“OneMailLite is end-to-end encrypted. The app is equipped with multiple virus scanners and spam filters to ensure the mail received is safe and relevant. This approach boosts cyber security and helps vessel owners to comply with latest data protection legislation,” said GTMaritime head of sales, Kirstie Williams.
Thuraya is the mobile satellite services subsidiary of UAE based Yahsat. IEC Telecom has a strategic agreement with Yahsat to act as master distributor for Thuraya VSAT+ across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
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