4G Changes the Game – Even Subsea

October 14, 2019

Tampnet’s offshore 4G solution has taken DeepOcean’s offshore and subsea service operations to a new and much higher level.

It all started late fall in 2017. Aker BP ASA had just awarded a contract to DeepOcean including ROV activities related to subsea inspections, maintenance and repairs (IMR) on Aker BP-operated assets like Valhall, Hod, Ula, Tambar, Ivar Aasen, Alvheim and Skarv in the North Sea. DeepOcean’s Project Manager, Terje Nordeide, was proud to receive the continued trust from the customer.

DeepOcean’s Project Manager, Terje Nordeide.

Offshore communications
During their operations DeepOcean had until now – like most vessels do in remote areas – made use of VSAT-services for offshore telecommunications between their vessels Edda Fauna and Edda Freya, and onshore and the connection was used for Skype video conferences and live-streams of ROV operations. Since the data signals must travel from the vessel and up to a satellite and then back again to their onshore locations or another vessel, the signal gets delayed (latency) and at the same time the capacity (bandwidth) is limited. Nordeide and DeepOcean started to investigate if there was a technology that could help them improve their telecommunications performance.

Put Tampnet to the test
Being an innovative company DeepOcean is always looking for technological improvement. Terje Nordeide had heard about Tampnet installing 4G coverage in the North Sea based on Tampnets subsea fibre infrastructure, and in the summer of 2018 he therefore contacted Tampnet’s Managing Director North Sea, Per Atle Sørensen, to see if it was possible to test Tampnet’s 4G technology in DeepOcean’s operations. DeepOcean had most of the hardware in place, so the preparations went quickly, and they were connected to Tampnet’s low latency and high capacity 4G coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“BANG, it was like going from VHS video to HD video straight away, and even Aker BP saw the immediate improvement”, Nordeide points out. “Suddenly we could not only have high quality video conferences between our vessels and onshore office, we could also do live streaming of ROV operations in our meetings with Aker BP and both viewing operations in real-time and making decisions real-time. We experienced that we suddenly were able to have a much better understanding of the situation offshore while sitting in the office and thus able to make faster decisions. In our meetings with Aker BP it was now also possible to use Smart-boards for the video projection and virtually make drawings directly on the live-stream, he continues.

Efficiency and lower cost
After the successful test DeepOcean decided to install this solution on both Edda Fauna and Edda Freya and the installation was made by NetNordic which is a trusted partner and reseller of Tampnet’s services. Nordeide also explains that the 4G solution is part of the Integrated Operations Center DeepOcean is setting up. One the functions of this center is to control ROVs from shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We have also very good experience with Tampnet’s Network Operations Centre (NOC) that is available 24/7/365 helping solve any technical connectivity issues,” Nordeide says. “4G is now an integrated part of our operations making sure that we can deliver on our promise to our customers. And at the same time it increases our HSEQ performance and not the least the daily welfare of our offshore staff”, Nordeide concludes.

The article is published in the magazine “DYP” (issue #3 2019) published by “Foreningen For Fjernstyrt Undervannsteknologi” (Association for Remotely Controlled Subsea Technology).

Click here to read the article on their website and the latest issue of the magazine “DYP”.