Anglo-Eastern plans 200-vessel StarLink roll-outWritten by Nick Blenkey
One of the world’s leading ship managers, Hong Kong headquartered Anglo-Eastern, plans to roll out SpaceX’s Starlink Maritime broadband service on at least 200 vessels by year-end, with more to follow. The company says that, initially, it has placed a preliminary order covering a dozen vessels of various ship types and trading patterns, so that the service can be fully trialed across a number of scenarios before a broader roll-out in the coming months.
“We quietly started our journey a year ago, when Starlink first announced its ‘RV’ service. Once installed on several vessels, we knew immediately it was a game-changer,” said Anglo-Eastern CIO Torbjorn Dimblad. “Overnight, these ships became as connected as any office or home, affording the crew unprecedented access to friends and family while enabling an entirely new level of collaboration between ship and shore.”
Dimblad sees the introduction of Starlink Maritime as arriving at a perfect time.
“Part of our digitalization journey was to standardize our hardware on board,” says Dimbland. “Since 2020, we have commissioned over 600 data centres and replaced 5,000 workstations across the fleet. The underlying infrastructure is now in place to leverage the accelerated connectivity”.
At the same time, satellite service providers have reported significant increases in the demand for bandwidth, fueled by the pandemic as well as new technology solutions on board. Starlink adds terabytes of network capacity, with low latency at a competitive price.
“Initially, all of that additional bandwidth will go to doing what we do today, only more of it and faster” said Anglo-Eastern CEO Bjorn Hojgaard. “The addition of Starlink’s LEO network – and OneWeb and Project Kuiper thereafter – will change life on board in a way that we have never experienced in the history of shipping. Soon seafarers will be ‘always-on’, enjoying the same connectivity that we ashore have been used to. The ship will become a seamless extension of the office, where members of the team just happen to be closer to the machinery.
“If an issue arises on board that requires support, the vessel team can launch a Teams video call to ask for a hand,” says Hojgaard. “During off-hours, the latest movies or TV shows can be streamed live from home… The possibilities are endless, and I believe this will help make our industry safer and more attractive for current and future generations.”