Agreement will boost the number of vessels using Marlink solutions and includes for the first time Starlink LEO internet trial for crew and business applications
Marlink, the smart network and digital solutions company, has won the contract to deploy its smart hybrid network solutions on the owned fleet of leading Japanese shipowner Fukujin Kisen Co Ltd.
Marlink already provides communications solutions to the Fukujin Kisen fleet and the increase of its commitment reflects Marlink’s consistent delivery of innovative solutions to the company, helping to optimise vessel operations and support the company’s business and crew welfare strategies.
The new hybrid network solution combining Marlink VSAT and LEO L-band back-up includes the Starlink high throughput, low latency LEO internet solution. A trial Starlink installation was made on a Capesize bulk carrier, alongside high capacity VSAT and L-band back-up.
Imabari-based Fukujin Kisen owns and manages a wide variety of vessels including containerships and product carriers, with a primary focus on bulk carriers chartered out to major shipping companies in Japan and overseas.
During the trial, Fukujin Kisen used the LEO internet services to provide an additional layer of interactive network capability onboard ship. Starlink’s high speed, low latency connectivity formed an integral part of the hybrid network solution, designed to provide a high Maximum Information Rate (MIR) with low latency alongside the guaranteed Committed Information Rate (CIR) provided via VSAT.
Key to improving the quality of the user experience is Marlink’s XChange platform which uses SD-WAN functionality to enable cloud applications and remote operations at sea by ensuring guaranteed connectivity levels to run business and crew applications that Starlink’s high bandwidth alone cannot provide. XChange enables the seamless fusion of the different networks – whether GEO, LEO or L-band – to leverage the benefits of a single secure network hybrid solution with the highest uptime available and guaranteed global coverage.
“The philosophy of Fukujin Kisen is that tradition is not maintained but built; we must continually make progress in order to serve our customers and retain the skills and experience of our crew,” said Mr Masaki Takabatake, Manager, Marine Project Group Leader, Fukujin Kisen. “This expansion of our long-standing relationship will enable us to deploy LEO internet onboard and support our ESG initiatives to improve crew welfare and conditions onboard ship for our seafaring teams in the digitalisation era.”
“Marlink is dedicated to helping shipowners on their adoption of innovative connectivity services and solutions that combine new business applications with the ability to deploy next generation crew services in the era of high performance and greater efficiency,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President, Maritime, Marlink. “We are delighted to be providing Fukujin Kisen with the platform on which to evaluate Starlink and achieve a new level of operational efficiency.”
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