OSLO – Marlink has been chosen by the CMA CGM Group, the world’s third largest container shipping group, to upgrade the majority of its fleet to WaveCall, Marlink’s standardized Ku-band VSAT service. In combination with the XChange solutions platform from Astrium Services, WaveCall will be installed on over 35 CMA CGM vessels, including the CMA CGM Marco Polo, CMA CGM Alexander Von Humboldt and CMA CGM Jules Verne, one of the largest container vessels in the world.
As CMA CGM’s fleet covers global trade routes, extensive Ku-band coverage was a key requirement when choosing WaveCall. The WaveCall proposition to CMA CGM is based on a cost-effective 5 GB/month data plan, which enables a significant increase in email, web browsing and voice calling, when compared to the 200MB/month FleetBroadband packages used before.
As a responsible employer committed to the welfare of its crews, improving on board communication is important for CMA CGM’s commitment to meeting the new IMO Maritime Labour Conventions, which among other important aspects of life on board, will establish new standards for crew facilities, including communications. An important part of this is the XChange solutions platform, which provides enhanced control and management of connectivity as well as a comprehensive set of Internet-cafÃ© like crew communications features.
Specially developed to meet communications requirements of CMA CGM crew members, a WiFi service over five access points per vessel will be established with XChange, allowing crew to connect to the Internet using mobile devices and laptops in the privacy of their own cabins. Using XChange, CMA CGM is able to provide crew services at prices similar to shore based connectivity, without increasing its own communication spend and can easily re-bill crew.
“CMA CGM is the world’s third largest shipping company so we are committed to the welfare of our 2500 seafarers permanently at sea,” comments Ludovic Gerard, Executive Vice President CMA Ships, CMA CGM. “Our desire to meet increasing demand from our crew members for reliable, low-cost Internet access on board was a primary driver for choosing VSAT from Marlink and combining it with XChange, which offers full control of the network.”
Other value added services provided to CMA CGM include a VPN connection for safe and reliable operational connectivity and @SeaWebControl, which provides the ability to filter content based on the company’s IT policy. @SEAwebControl blocks access to specific websites, restricts access to bandwidth-consuming services and gives priority to legitimate Internet usage.
“The upgrade project follows CMA CGM’s positive experience on its vessel CMA CGM Magellan, which for the last two years has been using VSAT connectivity supplied by Marlink, so we’re delighted that they have decided to roll WaveCall out for over half the fleet and across its largest vessels,” says Tore Morten Olsen, Head of Maritime Services at Astrium Services. “The WaveCall solution provided is an attractive entry point for VSAT. Services can be upgraded easily so CMA CGM’s future connectivity requirements for crew and operational communications can be efficiently addressed.”