Oslo, 23 April 2013 – German ship operator Hartmann Reederei has chosen Marlink to supply standardized Ku-band VSAT services to a diversified fleet of 74 vessels for an initial three-year duration. Hartmann Schiffahrts GmbH & Co. KG is headquartered in Leer, and encompasses the entire value-added chain of shipping, covering all activities in the maritime transport and logistics sector, as well as those in the shipping market.
Upgrading its existing Inmarsat E&E services, Hartmann sought a new communications platform to cater for its most important needs: Improve the crew retention, increase operational efficiency and facilitate IT management remotely.
Based on Marlink’s WaveCall Ku band and Astrium Services’ XChange solutions, this is the largest major contract to-date using new bandwidth allowance packages. The packages provide a significant bandwidth increase for crew connectivity at a very low per MB cost, with add-on data packages available if needed. Revenue from offering improved crew connectivity is offset against fixed and predictable service costs, enabling Hartmann to choose a service that enables far more bandwidth and flexibility. The new bandwidth allowance packages come in affordable increments of 5, 10, 20 and 30 GB to meet different consumption needs among ship owners.
“Crew welfare and retention are the primary drivers for upgrading communications across our fleet, which mainly consists of Gas Tankers, Container Vessels and MPV/Bulk carriers. The new services enable us to offer very low-cost connectivity to crew members, but a by-product is that we will experience more available bandwidth and faster speeds to boost operational and logistics efficiency,” says Wilko BÃ¼scher, IT Fleet Manager at Hartmann.
The Astrium Services’ XChange solution is the central point for each vessel’s network. It brings control of on board communications with crew access through pre-paid crew profiles. This ensures that minimal administration is required to provide connectivity services for crew, while fleet management is simplified with each vessel using the same connectivity platform. Crew communications are easily administered through XChange; ship owners define individually how much crew will be charged for their usage of voice and data, which guarantees full cost predictability for the ship owner.
Each vessel will have an 80cm antenna, installed by Hartmann directly, maintaining as much cost-efficiency as possible with the upgrade to WaveCall. Hartmann engineers have already received extensive training from Marlink to certify their ability to conduct quality installations. Installation procedures have been standardized and simplified in order to make VSAT even easier to implement and use.
“Our solution for Hartmann is extremely competitive,” says Tore Morten Olsen, Head of Astrium Services – Maritime. “We have been able to develop a solution that offers more than enough bandwidth for both crew and operations, at costs that would only provide a fraction of the bandwidth on competing services. XChange allows Hartmann to keep full control of communication usage, either on board or from shore, regardless of vessel type or location. If requirements increase over time, we have larger bandwidth packages to meet increased consumption, additionally we offer an upgrade path to WaveCall Premium, which is typically used when more business critical needs define the ship owner’s usage.”