“Connectivity is a key differentiator,” commented Raimo Warkki, IT exec at Stena Line, one of the world’s top ferry operators. “High quality telephony and Internet access support our passengers’ satisfaction, crew welfare and operational efficiency.”
Stena Line has just made a significant investment to enhance the satcoms bandwidth and connectivity on board 27 of their vessels operating offshore Scandinavia and the UK and Irish coasts while utilizing Marlink’s Ku-band Sealink VSAT service.
Marlink notes the upgrade consists of new antennas, modems and routers with next generation HTS (High Througput Satellite) compatibility of up to 25 Mbit/s.
To achieve higher bandwidth and connectivity across their fleet, Stena’s so-called ‘Closed User Group’ (CUG) policy was expanded as well. Increased bandwidth will be dedicated to the CUG, which can be dynamically allocated between the 27 vessels in order to meet specific usage demands. For example, a vessel sailing further offshore may require more VSAT bandwidth than a coastal vessel that can route telephony and data connectivity through 3G and other carriers using hybrid network functionality.
Marlink notes this hybrid network solution significantly improves passenger and crew internet access with on board WiFi and seamless switching between satcoms and 3G (voice and data), while enabling a dedicated administration LAN by integrating satcoms with GSM 3G coverage and a redundant terrestrial network from the teleport to Stena Line HQ. The network also supports provision of on board 3rd party GSM voice, SMS and data services in addition to routing for 3rd party service providers such as navigation, digital signage and bank ATM devices.