Offshore communicationWill improvements in communication for the offshore environment initiate a paradigm shift?
Offshore communication is traditionally perceived to be expensive, even though experience is low availability and low speed (low bandwidth). This is not necessarily the truth anymore. Developments are steadily on-going to make offshore communication both easily available and with better speeds at lower prices!
Satellite bandwidth is still costly, but prices are in a downwards spin due to new technologies and new frequency bands that can deliver more capacity at a lower price.
To ensure superb coverage onboard, a distributed antenna systems should be installed to distribute both WiFi and mobile telephony (GSM, 3G and 4G) signals to all the locations onboard which the owner and crew would desire to use computers, smart phones, pads and similar devices.
For operations within 70 nm from shore and around fixed installations in the North Sea you can supplement the VSAT bandwidth with cheaper and higher capacity 3G and ICE connections which can be bundled together with the VSAT bandwidth to create a real maritime broadband connectivity.
When LTE (4G) becomes more available along the coastlines in 2014 and eventually also in the North Sea, this can and will be bundled into this maritime broadband connectivity.
In addition, there are repeater services today that legally (not to be confused with the illegal repeaters that have been installed previously) enhance the land based mobile signals far out at sea and around the fixed offshore installations (up to 50 nm from shore or installations).
And then also maritime GSM services are available, that allow you to stay connected on your mobile devices even when no land based signal is available.
So my answer to the initial question is YES.
Today’s developments in communications definitely enhance the usability and user experience for crew, ship owners, operators and clients, and focus now is on the personalized communication expected in today’s communication society.
Maritime Communications Partner AS (MCP) will be happy to assist in creating the best possible solutions for your needs.
Vice President Global Sales