GE-Satcom Reveals Triple-Play Service for Merchant Vessels

Launch follows successful pilot testing of high-end satellite-based phone, Internet and TV

GE - Satcom has unveiled the commercial launch of a satellite-based communications service designed to support a range of value-added services for merchant vessel operators.

The project was originally developed and co-piloted in close collaboration with a Hamburg-based German fleet operator whose insight into the needs of commercial shipping and its crew were critical to the solution design. A six month pilot was first carried out on board a large container vessel operating between ports in Asia, Africa and Europe, and following successful acceptance the service has now been scheduled for commercial roll out to 14 more ships.

The ‘Satlynx Maritime’ solution from GE - Satcom provides a sophisticated platform for delivering an innovative triple-play service The solution provides telephone, Internet access and a range of TV content including daily news, sports reports and magazine shows that can be multiplexed into any cabin, technical or recreation room. The cost effective, flat-rate service operates on the iDirect Evolution platform. Using Ku-band as the primary link, the service can automatically switch to an LBand link via Inmarsat or Iridium as a back-up solution.

A maritime customer of GE - Satcom, Captain G. Falk Bethke, Chief Superintendant of Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, commented, “GE - Satcom have been extremely flexible in overcoming their customers’ primary challenges and adapting to their specific needs. GE - Satcom’s simple retrofit solution provides a scalable platform on which cutting-edge fleet management applications can be built, such as location tracking, eco-routing, and performance monitoring to reduce operational costs - for both new builds and existing ships alike.”

Ronny Svang, President and CEO of GE - Satcom said, “The always-on connectivity we provide means the service will be available 24/7 over most commercial shipping lanes around the world, enabling the fleet owners and crew to constantly optimise the cost of communications for both ship operation and extended plug & play Internet, voice and TV services.”

“The maritime sector is extremely competitive and it’s vital to have the best crew for our fleet. The better we’re able to look after our crew, the easier it is to attract and retain the top people. What GE - Satcom has done is bring affordability to first-class crew welfare services”, added Captain Bethke.