Called Maritime Connect, the solution was developed by Orange Business Services as part of a European Union initiative dedicated to improving communications on vessels at sea. It allows shipping companies to seamlessly integrate their fleet into the corporate network and provide Internet access for crew and applications. Orange describes it as "a single, integrated solutions platform, which provides the maritime industry with reliable connectivity over diverse communication interfaces and cuts costs at the same time."
Voice, VoIP, data and internet access are deliveredin one solution that can be used on ships equipped with any type of satellite communications systems, including Fleet Broadband, Iridium or VSAT systems (Ku or C band).
Shipping companies, IT managers, captains and the crew can control access to data and voice services on board vessels or remotely from shore.
Delivering innovative maritime bandwidth management and optimization features, Maritime Connect manages voice, video and data in limited bandwidth and challenging weather conditions.
Typical uses include secure access to enterprise applications via the corporate network; better route planning to improve fuel consumption and cost control; enriched crew welfare by providing communication with the outside world; tracking and monitoring of ships and cargo; and telemedicine for remote care.
Maritime Connect is available in three tiered versions. The basic version provides on-board access to essential communications services like IP Routing, link switching, quality of service (QoS) and server hosting for applications onboard; the next level up adds licenses for increased security, WAN optimization and user accounting; while the premium version provides maximum connectivity for crew and captain with Wi-Fi on board, 3G/4G for near-shore operations.
"Orange Business Services is uniquely positioned in the maritime market because we are able to integrate many different technologies and networks, both onshore and offshore. With the end-to-end integration and satellite connectivity offered by Maritime Connect, vessels on the high seas are now as well connected as terrestrial offices. This enables new ways of working right across the shipping industry," says Michel Verbist, Head Business Development Satellite Solutions, Orange Business Services.