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The Scandinavian dream of maritime communications: A transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk

Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations.

The transformational agreement between Maersk Line – the world’s largest shipping company – and Ericsson – the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators – serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…”

Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system.

Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions.

This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities.

As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers.

Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea.

To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency”

Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4990|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/container-158362_1280-1-1024x512-1.png[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations. The transformational agreement between Maersk Line - the world’s largest shipping company - and Ericsson - the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators - serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…” Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system. Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions. This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities. As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers. Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea. To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency” Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

5 essential reasons offshore connectivity is a strategic necessity.

With growth and post-recession prosperity in the global maritime industry, the proclivity towards real-time solutions and operations is moving forward at a breakneck pace. Increasingly, major maritime segments are realising the importance of sea-to-shore communications. As a result, offshore connectivity has become a pivotal solution to costly remoteness and a lack of central supervision at sea.

To complement the contributions made by Virgil Labrador in his analysis of the Maritime Satellite Market, it is apposite to go back to the basics and outline five essential reasons why offshore connectivity is a strategic necessity for success.

Firstly, efficiencies play a role since many service providers have long offered a bridge to information flows between offshore and office locations. For instance, connected merchant vessels can allow for operational, maintenance, and emergency reports on a virtual platform. Similarly, oil production and exploration companies are constantly battling against the actual adversities of expanding their operations in deeper waters further away from shore and beyond the reach of terrestrial communications facilities.

Satellite connectivity provides a seamless use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), as well as real-time transmission of drilling data and asset monitoring to headquarters. High Throughput Satellite (HTS) communications enable vessels to transmit data back to headquarters, which, in return, provides competitive advantages during the decision-making process, stakeholder management, and e-training (ECDIS) resources.

Another reason is coverage control developed throughout the global maritime sector. Improvements of service coverage and bandwidth capacity are demanded not only for the application of route planning, asset diagnostics, and weather applications, but also for infotainment. Service quality is at stake when multiple users aboard are using bandwidth for non-business purposes. Two examples of innovative solutions comprise web compression to improve data speed and bandwidth utilisation, and captive portal services to accommodate access and prioritise applications.

Owing to the advanced mobility and spatial range of vessels across the ocean, maritime industries are constantly coping with vast collections of data and superior means of connectivity-atlas development at seaports, near ports, and deep water. Over the years, service providers, such as Harris CapRock, have applied full integration of 24/7 customer connectivity and personalised experience through Automatic Beam Switching (ABS), whilst Datasat Communications provides professional integration of different communication networks into a hybrid system for major satellite, wireless, and fibre functionalities.

Effective data management is also another reason offshore connectivity increases productivity at remote areas. Large amounts of collected data have grown massively over the years, to the point that service providers are facilitating customers with superior extraction and conversion of this data. Through careful standardisation, consumable information can be distributed to many different users – even those who differ on data requirements, objectives, and locations – in a timely manner.

Interestingly, the management of data also conducts customers to consider firewall filtering and privacy to combat software intromissions from other non-authorised intruders. Many VSAT solutions, for example, enables users to maximise bandwidth through the use of filtering and traffic shaping solutions to guarantee secure utilisation of data and confidentiality.

Adhering to the revolution of technology and communications in today’s highly connected world, smart devices bring a newly added reason for offshore connectivity in the maritime sector. The use of smart gadgets and W-iFi hotspots are also acting as a complementary form of transferring data with satisfactory improvements of reliability, coverage, and capacity. In hostile environments, for example, crews on oil platforms and rigs, are expecting same levels of connectivity at remote locations as they get when they stay ashore.

As Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, remarked when his firm announced a partnership with Maersk Line Operations in 2012, “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.”

Finally, crew welfare is one of the most important reasons offshore connectivity is not merely a strategic trend in the maritime sector. Precisely, The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, supplied important figures to the inclusion of crew morale as a core business value. At recruitment, 73% of respondents said that the level of crew communications services provided onboard did influence their decision about which shipping company they work for.

The Maritime Labour Convention, which went into effect in August 2013 and includes guidelines on how consideration should be given to include “reasonable access to ship-to-shore telephone communications, and email and Internet facilities”, has undoubtedly played a role in ship-owners placing a greater emphasis on improving crew welfare.

Likewise, there has been profound a shift from safety and security training to career opportunities onboard. Crews of all ranks are taking on training as a reflection of their career goals and not just simple compliance. In the near future, people will be demanding huge efforts to the provision of a learning path that guarantees communication, stress reduction, and field expertise onboard.

In many respects, maritime communications are providing companies the power to deliver the bandwidth for operational success, crew happiness, coverage control, data management, and smart device connectivity, all at the same time. The question is whether network innovations will drive the maritime sector to a new favourable need of infrastructure, coverage and capacity that helps global communications to keep everyone connected.

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Increasingly, major maritime segments are realising the importance of sea-to-shore communications. As a result, offshore connectivity has become a pivotal solution to costly remoteness and a lack of central supervision at sea. To complement the contributions made by Virgil Labrador in his analysis of the Maritime Satellite Market, it is apposite to go back to the basics and outline five essential reasons why offshore connectivity is a strategic necessity for success. Firstly, efficiencies play a role since many service providers have long offered a bridge to information flows between offshore and office locations. For instance, connected merchant vessels can allow for operational, maintenance, and emergency reports on a virtual platform. Similarly, oil production and exploration companies are constantly battling against the actual adversities of expanding their operations in deeper waters further away from shore and beyond the reach of terrestrial communications facilities. Satellite connectivity provides a seamless use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), as well as real-time transmission of drilling data and asset monitoring to headquarters. High Throughput Satellite (HTS) communications enable vessels to transmit data back to headquarters, which, in return, provides competitive advantages during the decision-making process, stakeholder management, and e-training (ECDIS) resources. Another reason is coverage control developed throughout the global maritime sector. Improvements of service coverage and bandwidth capacity are demanded not only for the application of route planning, asset diagnostics, and weather applications, but also for infotainment. Service quality is at stake when multiple users aboard are using bandwidth for non-business purposes. Two examples of innovative solutions comprise web compression to improve data speed and bandwidth utilisation, and captive portal services to accommodate access and prioritise applications. Owing to the advanced mobility and spatial range of vessels across the ocean, maritime industries are constantly coping with vast collections of data and superior means of connectivity-atlas development at seaports, near ports, and deep water. Over the years, service providers, such as Harris CapRock, have applied full integration of 24/7 customer connectivity and personalised experience through Automatic Beam Switching (ABS), whilst Datasat Communications provides professional integration of different communication networks into a hybrid system for major satellite, wireless, and fibre functionalities. Effective data management is also another reason offshore connectivity increases productivity at remote areas. Large amounts of collected data have grown massively over the years, to the point that service providers are facilitating customers with superior extraction and conversion of this data. Through careful standardisation, consumable information can be distributed to many different users - even those who differ on data requirements, objectives, and locations - in a timely manner. Interestingly, the management of data also conducts customers to consider firewall filtering and privacy to combat software intromissions from other non-authorised intruders. Many VSAT solutions, for example, enables users to maximise bandwidth through the use of filtering and traffic shaping solutions to guarantee secure utilisation of data and confidentiality. Adhering to the revolution of technology and communications in today’s highly connected world, smart devices bring a newly added reason for offshore connectivity in the maritime sector. The use of smart gadgets and W-iFi hotspots are also acting as a complementary form of transferring data with satisfactory improvements of reliability, coverage, and capacity. In hostile environments, for example, crews on oil platforms and rigs, are expecting same levels of connectivity at remote locations as they get when they stay ashore. As Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, remarked when his firm announced a partnership with Maersk Line Operations in 2012, "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." Finally, crew welfare is one of the most important reasons offshore connectivity is not merely a strategic trend in the maritime sector. Precisely, The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, supplied important figures to the inclusion of crew morale as a core business value. At recruitment, 73% of respondents said that the level of crew communications services provided onboard did influence their decision about which shipping company they work for. The Maritime Labour Convention, which went into effect in August 2013 and includes guidelines on how consideration should be given to include “reasonable access to ship-to-shore telephone communications, and email and Internet facilities”, has undoubtedly played a role in ship-owners placing a greater emphasis on improving crew welfare. Likewise, there has been profound a shift from safety and security training to career opportunities onboard. Crews of all ranks are taking on training as a reflection of their career goals and not just simple compliance. In the near future, people will be demanding huge efforts to the provision of a learning path that guarantees communication, stress reduction, and field expertise onboard. In many respects, maritime communications are providing companies the power to deliver the bandwidth for operational success, crew happiness, coverage control, data management, and smart device connectivity, all at the same time. The question is whether network innovations will drive the maritime sector to a new favourable need of infrastructure, coverage and capacity that helps global communications to keep everyone connected. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]