When Simon Møkster Shipping got to test Tampnet’s 4G on its ships offshore, ICT Manager, Terje Gjerde was convinced. After one and a half years with 4G, he is even more impressed: better coverage, lower costs and a happier crew are the upshot for the shipping company.
"The more 4G, the better!" Simon Møkster Shipping’s ICT Manager
Terje Gjerde takes a coffee break in his offce. He has a tender in his
head, communication technology on the agenda and is responsible
for ensuring that 23 ships, 450 NOR employees and several NIS
employees have the best possible low latency at all times. He is talking
about the significance of 4G: milliseconds, safety, direct dialogue,
dynamic communication and video conferences and morning meetings
with high audio and image quality.
"It has been marvellous for us to make the transition to 4G. We
started the collaboration in 2013. After having been operational on
the Tampnet network for one and a half years, we are very optimistic
about the future and a continuing collaboration. This works really well!"
By using Tampnet’s 4G offshore we have achieved a faster transfer of ship-to-shore data and faster replication of database traffic. We can transfer large data files between ships that form part of daily operations, we can run more interactive applications that require bandwidth like Skype, online purchasing systems and online bookings. It has also become much easier to update ships online and the crew can now have a closer dialogue with their families at home.
Terje Gjerde, ICT Manager/CIO, Simon Møkster
Onshore and offhore
Simon Møkster Shipping is a Stavanger-based shipping company
that is now entering its 50th year and which has developed from old
fishing boats to a fully integrated Oshore Shipping company with
23 operational ships. Møkster’s goal is to provide clients with an advanced
shipping service, which includes NOFO vessels with their own
booms for recovering oil spills, fire-fighting boats with water cannons,
high-tech cargo ships that can winch down large ROVs to the seabed
and dedicated supply vessels adapted to Norwegian weather conditions
and the harsh climate of the north – with heated stairs and floors to
prevent injury on slippery surfaces. Technology drives the company
forward, and coverage and capacity are more important than ever.
– Ship-to-shore communication is extremely important, and it has
to work. While we previously had a static communication, which went
back and forth with small breaks in between each time somebody spoke,
Tampnet’s 4G means that dialogue today is dynamic and direct. We
use Skype for Business and have conferences that are far superior,
accurate and eective. Internal communication on the ships is also
much better with information screens featuring important, updated
information that everyone can see immediately.
4G or VSAT?
Satellite supplier Marlink is responsible for adapting Møkster’s
communication solution. When the ships are in the Tampnet zone,
they will always be on 4G. VSAT is used when they are outside 4G
coverage. Møkster has a total of between 10 and 15 ships out at sea at
any given time. 18 of the ships primarily work with 4G, either onshore/
abroad or offshore, while the four–six ships in the north rely on VSAT.
"VSAT and 4G LTE are like two different worlds. As a user of communication
solutions, we want the best possible quality at the lowest
possible price. Marlink delivers this with the help of Tampnet’s 4G solution.
The more we can utilize 4G, the better. To receive signals from
the satellite in the north, we must have good equipment, such as large
powerful antennas, although the speed cannot be compared with 4G.
We are all very keen for the Tampnet network to be further developed."
Safety is crucial to Møkster Shipping. The company’s ships are
constantly on emergency standby, ready to retrieve people from rigs,
if necessary. Crew safety on board also requires that contact between
the administration system and operational system (class system)
functions in crisis situations. A technological upgrade simplifies all
processes,” believes Gjerde.
"By using 4G instead of VSAT, we have achieved a faster transfer
of ship-to-shore data and faster replication of database trac from
ship-to-shore. We can transfer large data files between ships that
form part of daily operations, we can run more interactive applications
that require bandwidth and we can run more interactive applications
such as Skype for Business, online purchasing systems and
online bookings. It has also become much easier to update ships online
instead of dispatching flash drives with data.
Closer to home
The crew on board the supply vessels work four-week shifts. They are
on the vessel for 28 days, switching between 12 hours on duty and 12
hours off in the course of 24 hours. Leisure time with 4G has given
them a completely new life offshore.
"This has been a huge transition for the crew. Previously, the line
was intermittent, and the internet was something we could only
dream about. Now the crew can relax with FaceTime and talk directly
to their homes, including chatting with their children while lying in
their bunks. Even if we are restrictive regarding data capacity, this has
paved the way for a whole new world for our employees.
Simon Møkster Shipping spends millions of NOK each year on
communication costs. With the new setup that includes 4G, the shipping
company will save significant sums on communication offshore.
"We chose Tampnet instead of another supplier and have never regretted this. Tampnet has better and greater coverage, works innovatively and delivers a much broader service than we could have received from a competitor. We have also noted that the company’s staff listen to us, and together with Marlink, try to offer good solutions for any challenge that arise. We follow Tampnet’s growth with great enthusiasm as it develops and expands 4G offshore. This gives us a better service. We are hoping that Tampnet will also expand in the north, so that all our vessels can benefit from it."