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Is Enhanced Communications For Seafaring Worth The Investment? 

There is a good assumption that effective communications are the main source of success for any business entity to survive, prosper, and grow. In fact, the importance of communications has been brought up as an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships in any business sector.

With the advent of globalisation, digitalisation, and mobility, the world has seen changes in communication technologies as the growth of connectivity has been influencing people’s mind over the last decade. The good news is that digital connectivity is here to stay and the future is promising, especially for those industries where constant communications between onshore locations and remote facilities are a high priority.

For instance, the maritime industry has seen improvements in sea-to-shore connectivity, allowing seafarers to enjoy, to some extent, the benefits of digital communications and real-time solutions for work and personal use. Yet, there are some misconceptions against onboard connectivity that need to be rejected as enhanced communications could change the life of those people who spend much of their lives at sea.

Those misconceptions repeatedly comprise costs (installation and running costs), content viewed or downloaded, and resulting distractions. However, the world is experiencing the benefits of the so-called networked economy, where connectivity is not a luxury but a basic right for everyone. It is imperative, though, to explain why investing on enhanced communications is a great business idea, and how this game-changing move improves the quality of lives of seafarers onboard.

Seafarer’s Morale

Seafarers are the most important and qualified employees to work onboard. Providing them with Internet access and other digital applications, improves their quality of life, and helps attract the best talent whilst also optimising vessels and productivity. In consequence, management would have the ability to implement HR programs that increase retention rates for sustainable development and job satisfaction.

The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, brought forth 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.” In other words, most seafarers are telling us that no matter how great the company could be, connecting to the outside world is crucial.

Social Isolation

Seafaring is an inherently isolated occupation. There is a huge risk that crew who spend months away from home could develop feelings of boredom, marginality, exclusion, anger, despair, sadness, frustration, and especially loneliness. Maritime companies, particularly in the shipping sector, are responsible for mitigating the loneliness of being away from home and reducing other psychological side effects, so potential seafarers could find their careers more bearable and attractive.

A recent investigation made by Nautilus International has found that despite some companies believing that social interaction is affected by the provision of enhanced communications onboard vessels, seafarers rated not “speaking the common language” as having the highest impact on social interaction at work. This finding breaks the scepticism that connectivity does not foster community, togetherness, and teamwork values whilst at work.

Maintaining links with home

One of the main concerns for seafarers is that bandwidth at sea is often narrow, expensive, and unreliable, making it difficult for crews to maintain good contact with their families unless they are in port. In the digital age, furnishing seafarers with poor Internet access is counterproductive, as companies that invest in high-bandwidth sea-to-shore connectivity can not only benefit from greater operational efficiencies but they can also boost the morale of their employees by providing technology that facilitates advanced communications such as video calling.

As in business, a happy crew leads to a stable ship, and that is the case for the Engine Cadet, Zypert Barcelo, who was lucky enough to be on a ship – Maersk Laberinto – that provides connectivity at no cost. The seaman reported that he was able to perform effectively onboard as he had the ability to keep in touch with his family for emotional support, which made his life at sea easier. Although there is a risk of home-related distractions, connectivity outweighs work-related challenges for our last two following reasons.

Training Onboard

Providing computer-based training and E-learning is a source of competitive advantage as there is an ever-increasing need for innovation in the industry to reduce operational, safety, and cyber-security costs. As the world moves toward digitalisation, training and development should be indispensable to supply seafarers with skills that meet the technical requirements of modern vessels and the customised needs of companies and their customers.

To quote an example, the recent cyber-attack that shut down Maersk’s business units and IT systems, is a crystal-clear sign that the shipping industry has failed to push staff-awareness and preventive training onto the agenda. The case for security gets even more dramatic when you look at the findings from Nautilus International that show 86% of survey respondents claim that they have never received any sort of training in cyber-security, which makes companies fearful and more reluctant to consider crew connectivity.

Millennials

As the generation gap is widening in the workplace, so-called millennials are starting to question the status quo with new communications requirements and expectations onboard. To appeal to the millennial generation, Mark Charman, CEO at Faststream Recruitment Group, advised recruiters to focus on the most important factors that younger crews consider in choosing an employer: competitive salary, shorter rotations, fast promotions, new vessels, and more importantly, onboard connectivity.

While vessels are becoming more modern and new systems being put in place with integral connectivity solutions and controls, forward-thinking ship owners need to see the technological and economic opportunity that a new generation of seafarers poses to the market. By virtue, millennials are technology advocates, who easily adapt to new digital advances and trends, and make a great use of mobile applications to undertake sophisticated initiatives and other work-related tasks while keeping in touch with the outside world.

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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="4962|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/2017/09/elbe-1782991_960_720-e1506360223774-1.jpg[/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 columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="default" rule_size="" rule_color="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""] There is a good assumption that effective communications are the main source of success for any business entity to survive, prosper, and grow. In fact, the importance of communications has been brought up as an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong working relationships in any business sector. With the advent of globalisation, digitalisation, and mobility, the world has seen changes in communication technologies as the growth of connectivity has been influencing people’s mind over the last decade. The good news is that digital connectivity is here to stay and the future is promising, especially for those industries where constant communications between onshore locations and remote facilities are a high priority. For instance, the maritime industry has seen improvements in sea-to-shore connectivity, allowing seafarers to enjoy, to some extent, the benefits of digital communications and real-time solutions for work and personal use. Yet, there are some misconceptions against onboard connectivity that need to be rejected as enhanced communications could change the life of those people who spend much of their lives at sea. Those misconceptions repeatedly comprise costs (installation and running costs), content viewed or downloaded, and resulting distractions. However, the world is experiencing the benefits of the so-called networked economy, where connectivity is not a luxury but a basic right for everyone. It is imperative, though, to explain why investing on enhanced communications is a great business idea, and how this game-changing move improves the quality of lives of seafarers onboard.

Seafarer’s Morale

Seafarers are the most important and qualified employees to work onboard. Providing them with Internet access and other digital applications, improves their quality of life, and helps attract the best talent whilst also optimising vessels and productivity. In consequence, management would have the ability to implement HR programs that increase retention rates for sustainable development and job satisfaction. The 2015 Crew Connectivity Survey, undertaken by Futurenautics Research, brought forth 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." In other words, most seafarers are telling us that no matter how great the company could be, connecting to the outside world is crucial.

Social Isolation

Seafaring is an inherently isolated occupation. There is a huge risk that crew who spend months away from home could develop feelings of boredom, marginality, exclusion, anger, despair, sadness, frustration, and especially loneliness. Maritime companies, particularly in the shipping sector, are responsible for mitigating the loneliness of being away from home and reducing other psychological side effects, so potential seafarers could find their careers more bearable and attractive. A recent investigation made by Nautilus International has found that despite some companies believing that social interaction is affected by the provision of enhanced communications onboard vessels, seafarers rated not “speaking the common language” as having the highest impact on social interaction at work. This finding breaks the scepticism that connectivity does not foster community, togetherness, and teamwork values whilst at work.

Maintaining links with home

One of the main concerns for seafarers is that bandwidth at sea is often narrow, expensive, and unreliable, making it difficult for crews to maintain good contact with their families unless they are in port. In the digital age, furnishing seafarers with poor Internet access is counterproductive, as companies that invest in high-bandwidth sea-to-shore connectivity can not only benefit from greater operational efficiencies but they can also boost the morale of their employees by providing technology that facilitates advanced communications such as video calling. As in business, a happy crew leads to a stable ship, and that is the case for the Engine Cadet, Zypert Barcelo, who was lucky enough to be on a ship – Maersk Laberinto – that provides connectivity at no cost. The seaman reported that he was able to perform effectively onboard as he had the ability to keep in touch with his family for emotional support, which made his life at sea easier. Although there is a risk of home-related distractions, connectivity outweighs work-related challenges for our last two following reasons.

Training Onboard

Providing computer-based training and E-learning is a source of competitive advantage as there is an ever-increasing need for innovation in the industry to reduce operational, safety, and cyber-security costs. As the world moves toward digitalisation, training and development should be indispensable to supply seafarers with skills that meet the technical requirements of modern vessels and the customised needs of companies and their customers. To quote an example, the recent cyber-attack that shut down Maersk’s business units and IT systems, is a crystal-clear sign that the shipping industry has failed to push staff-awareness and preventive training onto the agenda. The case for security gets even more dramatic when you look at the findings from Nautilus International that show 86% of survey respondents claim that they have never received any sort of training in cyber-security, which makes companies fearful and more reluctant to consider crew connectivity.

Millennials

As the generation gap is widening in the workplace, so-called millennials are starting to question the status quo with new communications requirements and expectations onboard. To appeal to the millennial generation, Mark Charman, CEO at Faststream Recruitment Group, advised recruiters to focus on the most important factors that younger crews consider in choosing an employer: competitive salary, shorter rotations, fast promotions, new vessels, and more importantly, onboard connectivity. While vessels are becoming more modern and new systems being put in place with integral connectivity solutions and controls, forward-thinking ship owners need to see the technological and economic opportunity that a new generation of seafarers poses to the market. By virtue, millennials are technology advocates, who easily adapt to new digital advances and trends, and make a great use of mobile applications to undertake sophisticated initiatives and other work-related tasks while keeping in touch with the outside world. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Maersk Cyber-Attack: A Lesson Learned?

As the shipping industry keeps moving slowly to new forms of technology and digital innovations, criminality has started to make a huge impact on the ocean supply chain. On June 27th, A.P. Moller-Maersk fell victim to a coordinated international cyber-attack, which affected several of its businesses across the world, causing the shutdown of IT systems across its business units against virtual intrusion. The impact of the attack was critically significant not only for the amount of goods being transported on a daily basis, but also for the major disruption it caused on its port-to-port communications and digital applications.

Without a doubt, the recent cyber-attack unraveled key vulnerabilities and plausible negligence given Maersk’s position as the world biggest shipping line and also, operator of 76 ports via its APM Terminals division. The Danish firm reported, “We can confirm that Maersk has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack named Petya on the 27 June, 2017. IT systems are down across multiple sites and select business units…We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT-partners and global cyber security agencies”.

It is difficult to ascertain the exact reasons why Maersk fell victim to such a criminal manoeuvre without having a look at its computer systems and IT capabilities. Nonetheless, it does beg the question: how does one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, which beyond doubt, invests huge amounts of money on IT developments, get brutally infected? During a live interview, Vincent Clerc, Maersk Line’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained that while continuous security assessments and further investigations were still in progress, the firm had been focusing on devoting more resources to business continuity and adequate protection for its customers.

As part of its response to the attach, Maersk enabled the use of manual processes and INNTRA to guarantee continuity and deter customers to keep facing disruptions. After a week of backlog and assessments for full transparency, major digital applications and APM Terminals resumed operations and productivity levels reached normality. Yet, as opposed to other insiders who failed to enumerate the causes that made Maersk a clear victim, surveys and industry experts exposed their views on this topic. These views commonly comprise a mixture of technological, human, and digital failings.

In its Crew Connectivity 2015 survey, Futurenautics found that, “Only 12% of crew had received any form of cyber security training. In addition, only 43% of crew were aware of any cyber-safe policy or cyber hygiene guidelines provided by their company for personal web-browsing or the use of removable media (USB memory sticks etc.). Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the above statistics, fully 43% of crew reported that they had sailed on a vessel that had become infected with a virus or malware”.

Phil Tinsley, Manager, Maritime Security at Bimco said, “It is the human element which we believe is the gravest concern. Why? There is unfortunately still a lack of awareness of the potential severity of a malicious cyber security attack on board a ship. Information technology systems and operational technological system protocols are often not fully understood by all ships’ crews. There is potential for an incident to occur through negligence, misuse or even deliberate acts when dealing with on board systems, which are connected”.

Digital innovations are also the newest game changers that are exposing shipping companies to new vulnerabilities. With more than 600 vessels operating in around 130 countries, Maersk created the “Maersk Advanced Analytics Team” in order to improve operational efficiencies, fuel savings, and customer service. Yet, digitalisation absorbs new issues; vessels are increasingly using systems that rely on data usage and analytics that bring a greater risk of unauthorised access or malicious attacks to ships’ systems and networks.

“One of the biggest challenges I see in the shipping and maritime sector is the pace of digitalisation in the industry versus the ever-changing threat landscape. Today a lot of critical functions, commercial and business operations must meet the digitalisation demand and this has forced industries, including the shipping and maritime sector into meeting demands, which potentially changes the way security was built and designed to secure infrastructure, protect data, customers and employees,” said Jens Monrad, Senior Intel Analyst, at FireEye iSight.

The shipping industry is waking up to a new era of technological innovations. Even so, there is an evident lack of maturity, even for the largest shipping firms, to develop a technical checklist of preventive actions that should be followed to avoid potential cyber threats. Transforming obsolete processes and fragmented supply chains into fully protected, integrated systems requires pragmatism and caution to say the least. Lars Jensen, CEO and partner, at SeaIntelligence Consulting, added:

“Many shipping companies wrongfully believe that cyber security has to be expensive. The reality is that often simple, inexpensive, actions will raise security significantly both on the landside and on the vessels. Often it is a matter of ensuring that systems get updated in a timely fashion, business processes are changed slightly, networks are properly configured, security features are tested and users properly trained.”

Valour Consultancy ratifies the importance that cyber awareness has in todays’ shipping world. By implication, cyber security should be considered vertically and horizontally, from top management ashore to onboard crews, assigning resources and responsibilities that could create a new culture based on continuous risk assessments and operational efficiencies. Perhaps, the Danish conglomerate failed to capture the educational/training benefits that cyber aware programs bring to the industry, which is the reason why many business units across the organisation were vulnerable to the crime.

Ongoing risk assessments should sequentially be employed once awareness reaches optimal results. Every employee should be aware of any potential risk and internal vulnerabilities, carry out continuous assessments and identify solutions in the event of an attack, increase protection methods and mitigate the impact of exposure, implement contingency plans (ideally non-electronic ones against data deletion and shutdown of IT systems), and follow a recovery plan that covers the inspection, detection, and deletion of threats. Following those actions is essential to minimise the risk of loss of data, revenue, and reputation.

-
[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_text] As the shipping industry keeps moving slowly to new forms of technology and digital innovations, criminality has started to make a huge impact on the ocean supply chain. On June 27th, A.P. Moller-Maersk fell victim to a coordinated international cyber-attack, which affected several of its businesses across the world, causing the shutdown of IT systems across its business units against virtual intrusion. The impact of the attack was critically significant not only for the amount of goods being transported on a daily basis, but also for the major disruption it caused on its port-to-port communications and digital applications. Without a doubt, the recent cyber-attack unraveled key vulnerabilities and plausible negligence given Maersk’s position as the world biggest shipping line and also, operator of 76 ports via its APM Terminals division. The Danish firm reported, “We can confirm that Maersk has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack named Petya on the 27 June, 2017. IT systems are down across multiple sites and select business units…We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT-partners and global cyber security agencies”. It is difficult to ascertain the exact reasons why Maersk fell victim to such a criminal manoeuvre without having a look at its computer systems and IT capabilities. Nonetheless, it does beg the question: how does one of the largest container shipping companies in the world, which beyond doubt, invests huge amounts of money on IT developments, get brutally infected? During a live interview, Vincent Clerc, Maersk Line’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained that while continuous security assessments and further investigations were still in progress, the firm had been focusing on devoting more resources to business continuity and adequate protection for its customers. As part of its response to the attach, Maersk enabled the use of manual processes and INNTRA to guarantee continuity and deter customers to keep facing disruptions. After a week of backlog and assessments for full transparency, major digital applications and APM Terminals resumed operations and productivity levels reached normality. Yet, as opposed to other insiders who failed to enumerate the causes that made Maersk a clear victim, surveys and industry experts exposed their views on this topic. These views commonly comprise a mixture of technological, human, and digital failings. In its Crew Connectivity 2015 survey, Futurenautics found that, “Only 12% of crew had received any form of cyber security training. In addition, only 43% of crew were aware of any cyber-safe policy or cyber hygiene guidelines provided by their company for personal web-browsing or the use of removable media (USB memory sticks etc.). Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the above statistics, fully 43% of crew reported that they had sailed on a vessel that had become infected with a virus or malware”. Phil Tinsley, Manager, Maritime Security at Bimco said, “It is the human element which we believe is the gravest concern. Why? There is unfortunately still a lack of awareness of the potential severity of a malicious cyber security attack on board a ship. Information technology systems and operational technological system protocols are often not fully understood by all ships’ crews. There is potential for an incident to occur through negligence, misuse or even deliberate acts when dealing with on board systems, which are connected”. Digital innovations are also the newest game changers that are exposing shipping companies to new vulnerabilities. With more than 600 vessels operating in around 130 countries, Maersk created the “Maersk Advanced Analytics Team” in order to improve operational efficiencies, fuel savings, and customer service. Yet, digitalisation absorbs new issues; vessels are increasingly using systems that rely on data usage and analytics that bring a greater risk of unauthorised access or malicious attacks to ships’ systems and networks. “One of the biggest challenges I see in the shipping and maritime sector is the pace of digitalisation in the industry versus the ever-changing threat landscape. Today a lot of critical functions, commercial and business operations must meet the digitalisation demand and this has forced industries, including the shipping and maritime sector into meeting demands, which potentially changes the way security was built and designed to secure infrastructure, protect data, customers and employees,” said Jens Monrad, Senior Intel Analyst, at FireEye iSight. The shipping industry is waking up to a new era of technological innovations. Even so, there is an evident lack of maturity, even for the largest shipping firms, to develop a technical checklist of preventive actions that should be followed to avoid potential cyber threats. Transforming obsolete processes and fragmented supply chains into fully protected, integrated systems requires pragmatism and caution to say the least. Lars Jensen, CEO and partner, at SeaIntelligence Consulting, added: “Many shipping companies wrongfully believe that cyber security has to be expensive. The reality is that often simple, inexpensive, actions will raise security significantly both on the landside and on the vessels. Often it is a matter of ensuring that systems get updated in a timely fashion, business processes are changed slightly, networks are properly configured, security features are tested and users properly trained.” Valour Consultancy ratifies the importance that cyber awareness has in todays’ shipping world. By implication, cyber security should be considered vertically and horizontally, from top management ashore to onboard crews, assigning resources and responsibilities that could create a new culture based on continuous risk assessments and operational efficiencies. Perhaps, the Danish conglomerate failed to capture the educational/training benefits that cyber aware programs bring to the industry, which is the reason why many business units across the organisation were vulnerable to the crime. Ongoing risk assessments should sequentially be employed once awareness reaches optimal results. Every employee should be aware of any potential risk and internal vulnerabilities, carry out continuous assessments and identify solutions in the event of an attack, increase protection methods and mitigate the impact of exposure, implement contingency plans (ideally non-electronic ones against data deletion and shutdown of IT systems), and follow a recovery plan that covers the inspection, detection, and deletion of threats. Following those actions is essential to minimise the risk of loss of data, revenue, and reputation. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

COMSAT and Speedcast: A Partnership that Enhances Trust and Customised Solutions for the Government

In the midst of global communications and sea-to-land connectivity developments, the government sector is inevitably striving to enhance major defence and communication technologies with key, fully trusted providers of satellite communications and IT experts. Though fewer stories can be disclosed as a form of authentic exemplification on this matter, the formal partnership between Speedcast and COMSAT speaks highly for the exposition of government challenges and, thereupon, benefits of innovative Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) solutions.

Accordingly, Speedcast has entered into a strategic agreement with government satellite connectivity provider COMSAT to implement a jointly run global service offering of Ku-band VSAT services for governmental and other maritime service environments. In the pursuit of higher data rates for small ship antenna systems and spatial coverage, the combined network of Ku-band frequencies will power Speedcast’s roughly 8 GHz-band of global satellite capacity and COMSAT’s strategically allocated commercial teleport facilities in the United States in order to strengthen coverage for connectivity services.

It should be underlined that both actors have played a critical role in the global SATCOM industry, demonstrating proven trust records of intense customer focus, strong safety culture, and a holistic understanding of end-to-end remote satellite solutions under governmental communication needs. For instance, as a founding member of Intelsat, COMSAT, has pioneered the art of mobile satellite communications services to the US Navy by inserting the Marisat fleet network, while setting up the initial operating system of Inmarsat from the company’s two earth stations.

Speedcast has also distinguished itself with strong operational expertise in satellite communications, differentiated technologies, and world-class customer support. With more than three decades of experience in remote communications, Speedcast has also become the first partner of Tampnet for the implanting of 4G/LTE services in the Gulf of Mexico, which will take effect upon completion in 2018. As the winner of the 2017 WTA Independent Teleport of the year, Speedcast has also enhanced unbeatable trust and success with the January 2017 acquisition of Harris Caprock, upgrading its global infrastructure and securing organic-inorganic growth.

Together, both companies could facilitate government/military users access to the iDirect bandwidth network to guarantee reliable and secure connectivity for mission-critical applications. “COMSAT has always been at the forefront of SATCOM technology, innovating to provide enhanced services and support for our customers’ benefit,” said David Greenhill, president at COMSAT. “We recognise the same passion in the Speedcast team. This collaboration will allow us to mutually broaden our markets and better serve our customers.”

Yet, the government sector has differentiated requirements in regards to VSAT solutions, which encompasses public services, public safety, coverage, steady connectivity, and network security for the protection of mission-critical data and classified information. As government organisations and military agencies are switching to VSAT services for innovative network solutions, the satellite communications industry still has key challenges to rapidly overcome if it is to remain competitive.

Keeping up with the correct amount of bandwidth and capacity at any given time is a major challenge that requires careful planning against technical complexities. Failure to predict and allocate bandwidth options that fulfil the needs of the customer is not only proven to be costly and inefficient but also leads to a severe case of underperformance. Pivotally, military agencies urge global coverage to carry out critical missions at remote locations, which strictly requires a communication package that speaks for scalable bandwidth, improved-location capacity, and flexibility that adheres to a dynamic operational environment.

To add to the challenge, there is an increasing emphasis on mobility and integration of processes that complicates the delivery of seamless connectivity on demand. In an age of globalised, lopsided military missions, government customers are expecting solutions that support the use of ever-accumulating voice, data consumption, video applications, and other data-intensive features across a wide array of environments. Providers who take connectivity at heart, strive for integration of complex satellite communication solutions within an end-to-end managed service architecture, as a network design that allows users for anytime and anyplace access.

More importantly, as in the case of both, COMSAT and Speedcast, who enjoy full expertise in providing sufficient network capacity, coverage, and consistency to government users, critical importance should always be given to public safety and network security amongst other differentiated demands. Not acknowledging that success lies in the understanding of safety and security applications in this ubiquitous market, speaks for insufficient market understanding, fragmented deployment of network solutions, and dysfunctional models that jeopardise the protection of all information warfare and other sensitive data.

Far from the complexities against sophisticated innovations in regards to maritime communications, the strategic partnership between Speedcast and COMSAT not only highlights the vital expertise that both actors share in the provision of customised, end-to-end satellite communications solutions, but it also brings sound economic and engineering benefits to the strategic installation of a global network that supports public/data protection, resiliency, solid infrastructure, emergency/disaster backup responses, compatibility for the use of data-intensive applications, and instant communications capabilities of data on the move.

Precisely, as PJ Beylier, Speedcast’s CEO reported, “The opportunity for collaboration with COMSAT fits very well with Speedcast’s commitment to delivering robust, reliable, secure global communications solutions to government and military customers, no matter where operations take them… COMSAT’s experience in the government segment combined with our unmatched capacity, global network and customer support enable us to offer highly reliable and secure solutions to our customers.”

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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_text] In the midst of global communications and sea-to-land connectivity developments, the government sector is inevitably striving to enhance major defence and communication technologies with key, fully trusted providers of satellite communications and IT experts. Though fewer stories can be disclosed as a form of authentic exemplification on this matter, the formal partnership between Speedcast and COMSAT speaks highly for the exposition of government challenges and, thereupon, benefits of innovative Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) solutions. Accordingly, Speedcast has entered into a strategic agreement with government satellite connectivity provider COMSAT to implement a jointly run global service offering of Ku-band VSAT services for governmental and other maritime service environments. In the pursuit of higher data rates for small ship antenna systems and spatial coverage, the combined network of Ku-band frequencies will power Speedcast’s roughly 8 GHz-band of global satellite capacity and COMSAT’s strategically allocated commercial teleport facilities in the United States in order to strengthen coverage for connectivity services. It should be underlined that both actors have played a critical role in the global SATCOM industry, demonstrating proven trust records of intense customer focus, strong safety culture, and a holistic understanding of end-to-end remote satellite solutions under governmental communication needs. For instance, as a founding member of Intelsat, COMSAT, has pioneered the art of mobile satellite communications services to the US Navy by inserting the Marisat fleet network, while setting up the initial operating system of Inmarsat from the company’s two earth stations. Speedcast has also distinguished itself with strong operational expertise in satellite communications, differentiated technologies, and world-class customer support. With more than three decades of experience in remote communications, Speedcast has also become the first partner of Tampnet for the implanting of 4G/LTE services in the Gulf of Mexico, which will take effect upon completion in 2018. As the winner of the 2017 WTA Independent Teleport of the year, Speedcast has also enhanced unbeatable trust and success with the January 2017 acquisition of Harris Caprock, upgrading its global infrastructure and securing organic-inorganic growth. Together, both companies could facilitate government/military users access to the iDirect bandwidth network to guarantee reliable and secure connectivity for mission-critical applications. “COMSAT has always been at the forefront of SATCOM technology, innovating to provide enhanced services and support for our customers’ benefit,” said David Greenhill, president at COMSAT. “We recognise the same passion in the Speedcast team. This collaboration will allow us to mutually broaden our markets and better serve our customers.” Yet, the government sector has differentiated requirements in regards to VSAT solutions, which encompasses public services, public safety, coverage, steady connectivity, and network security for the protection of mission-critical data and classified information. As government organisations and military agencies are switching to VSAT services for innovative network solutions, the satellite communications industry still has key challenges to rapidly overcome if it is to remain competitive. Keeping up with the correct amount of bandwidth and capacity at any given time is a major challenge that requires careful planning against technical complexities. Failure to predict and allocate bandwidth options that fulfil the needs of the customer is not only proven to be costly and inefficient but also leads to a severe case of underperformance. Pivotally, military agencies urge global coverage to carry out critical missions at remote locations, which strictly requires a communication package that speaks for scalable bandwidth, improved-location capacity, and flexibility that adheres to a dynamic operational environment. To add to the challenge, there is an increasing emphasis on mobility and integration of processes that complicates the delivery of seamless connectivity on demand. In an age of globalised, lopsided military missions, government customers are expecting solutions that support the use of ever-accumulating voice, data consumption, video applications, and other data-intensive features across a wide array of environments. Providers who take connectivity at heart, strive for integration of complex satellite communication solutions within an end-to-end managed service architecture, as a network design that allows users for anytime and anyplace access. More importantly, as in the case of both, COMSAT and Speedcast, who enjoy full expertise in providing sufficient network capacity, coverage, and consistency to government users, critical importance should always be given to public safety and network security amongst other differentiated demands. Not acknowledging that success lies in the understanding of safety and security applications in this ubiquitous market, speaks for insufficient market understanding, fragmented deployment of network solutions, and dysfunctional models that jeopardise the protection of all information warfare and other sensitive data. Far from the complexities against sophisticated innovations in regards to maritime communications, the strategic partnership between Speedcast and COMSAT not only highlights the vital expertise that both actors share in the provision of customised, end-to-end satellite communications solutions, but it also brings sound economic and engineering benefits to the strategic installation of a global network that supports public/data protection, resiliency, solid infrastructure, emergency/disaster backup responses, compatibility for the use of data-intensive applications, and instant communications capabilities of data on the move. Precisely, as PJ Beylier, Speedcast’s CEO reported, “The opportunity for collaboration with COMSAT fits very well with Speedcast’s commitment to delivering robust, reliable, secure global communications solutions to government and military customers, no matter where operations take them… COMSAT’s experience in the government segment combined with our unmatched capacity, global network and customer support enable us to offer highly reliable and secure solutions to our customers.” [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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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[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="5011|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/2017/03/trade-1963518_1920-1024x719-1.jpg[/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 columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="default" rule_size="" rule_color="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""] 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. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]