The oceans are the last “white spot” for mobile communication industry to connect. The world’s largest shipping company, Maersk Line, has appointed Ericsson to address this by introducing end-to-end systems integration and deployment of mobile and satellite communication to its entire vessel fleet.
The Maersk Line fleet comprises more than 500 container vessels. Over the next two years, Maersk Line will outfit 400 of these vessels with Ericsson antennas and GSM base stations, with upgrades to be made to the remaining vessels soon after. As part of the agreement, Ericsson will provide seven years of global managed services support, including 24/7 network monitoring and onboard maintenance services in a large number of ports across all major regions.
“We’re proud to be able to connect Maersk Line’s fleet with our technology. We believe in a Networked Society, where connectivity will only be the starting point for new ways of innovating, collaborating and socializing. The result will be automated and simplified processes, higher productivity, real-time information allowing quicker, more informed decision making and problem solving,” said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.
For the shipping industry, mobile communication provides the opportunity to employ new and efficient ways of addressing fleet management, managing delivery times, improving interaction with vessels, enabling proactive issue resolution and prompt information sharing with customers and even improving energy efficiency.
Until now, Maersk Line’s high-tech modern container ships have been equipped with satellite connectivity primarily intended to support communication for vital shipboard functions. Ericsson’s integrated maritime mobile and very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite solution will bring extended connectivity to the entire fleet, allowing for new ways of communicating and contributing to efficiency, reliability and cost reduction. It also paves the way for immediate access to remote expertise, resulting in extended access to information and, in turn, improved efficiency in the vessels’ daily operations.
“We’re quite pleased to be the first fleet to be connected with mobile communication technology. We believe it would provide us good opportunities to run our fleet more efficiently.” said Søren Toft, Vice President Maersk Line Operations.