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Modernization of distress and safety communication at sea

IMO Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) held a meeting in the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR 16). The meeting was held at the IMO headquarters in London on 12-16 March 2012.The meeting focused especially on the work revising and modernizing the GMDSS system, which stipulates regulations and standards for maritime distress and safety communication. The GMDSS system has been operative for about 20 years, and technological developments have meant that, at the COMSAR session held in 2010, it was decided to start pre-investigating the need for modernizations. During the pre-investigations, a revision and modernization of the system was considered necessary, which there was also general agreement about at the COMSAR session just held.Consequently, a work plan for a revision and modernization of the GMDSS system was agreed upon, and this work is planned to be finalized in 2017. Furthermore, it was decided to re-establish a correspondence group, which is to continue the ongoing work until the next COMSAR session that will be held in 2013.A joint working group at the IMO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will, in addition, consider the revision of the GMDSS system at a ...

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Jebel Ali Port launches 3G communication service

3G internet service for container liner operators DP World has introduced 3G internet service for container liner operators calling at its flagship Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.Jebel Ali is among the first global ports to offer this vital communication service using the 3rd generation mobile telecommunications (3G) service in operations.The enhanced e-service enables carriers to connect to the port through the Dubai Trade portal www.dubaitrade.ae and file BAPLIE (Bay Plan/Stowage Plan of Occupied and Empty Spaces) information as the vessel departs for Jebel Ali, or acquire the data for onward ports.The data identifies each container and its location, and also identifies spaces available on board the vessel. Terminal operators can then access the data and plan the most efficient loading and discharge of containers and cargo, working closely with the carrier. The data also highlights any special handling requirements, and proper weight distribution for ship stability."The BAPLIE message is the backbone of electronic container stowage operation. Using the 3G service in our operations is an exciting new initiative that adds to the tools we have rolled out to improve operational efficiencies at our flagship Jebel Ali Port. DP World constantly invests in technology to deliver supply chain efficiencies that directly ...

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Record Growth in Mobile Communications at Sea

Maritime Communications Partner announces 24% yearly growth Maritime Communications Partner, the leading, global onboard communications provider, announced a record 24% yearly growth in its digital wireless service CellAtSea during 2008 to 2011.Mobile communications in the cruise industry is booming and for Maritime Communications Partner, the figures are proof of an astounding growth rate and profits."We experienced an average of 180% increase in data traffic with record passenger and crew use of mobile internet and smart phone services in 2011. We expect this to grow substantially in 2012," said Fred Sorensen, Managing Director MCP, Americas.Passengers are increasingly making use of onboard wireless services to access a broad range of web-based services, using their smartphones and other handheld devices to keep in touch with family, friends and work, surf the net, update social media pages, texting and reading e-mails. In addition to improving the passenger experience, these premium services generate significant on-board revenue.MCP estimates a record number 9.300.000 users of CellAtSea in 2011, and with several new cruise fleets in the MCP network pipeline, this figure will increase significantly during the next 12 months."Currently 130 cruise and ferry vessels are contracted to our global wireless network services. We are especially excited about ...

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NYK to Introduce Onboard Broadband Communication System On All Containerships

Aiming to Reduce CO2 Emissions during ship operations NYK has decided to introduce an onboard broadband communication system on all its containerships with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions during ship operations.Onboard tests of the broadband communication system started in October 2010 on various types of vessels, and the results have been studied. When the system is introduced as part of the IBIS (innovative bunker and idle-time saving) project that NYK has implemented on its containerships to achieve optimal economic ship operation, real-time large-volume data communication between land and ships can be achieved. The results of the tests showed that the large volume of assorted data required for reducing CO2 emissions can be obtained in real time.The new system enables the acquisition of more specific weather and sea-current forecast information on board, improves the automatic transmission of ship operation data and ship operation monitoring on land, and speeds up information-sharing and communication between staff on land and on board vessels. In response to these test results, NYK has decided to move from a testing phase to actual, sequential installation of the system on all its containerships to promote the IBIS project, and is to introduce the system onto car carriers, ...

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ECDIS and VSAT package launched

Aims to integrate the navigation and communications systems onboard ship Consilium and Orange Business Services have launched Current At Sea, a combined ECDIS and VSAT satcom package that aims to integrate the navigation and communications systems onboard ship.Consilium will provide dual-ECDIS systems which will be integrated with Orange's VSAT service and fully managed network (both terrestrial and satellite, including Inmarsat FleetBroadband connectivity), with the package being offered with a flat-fee.The modular system can also include voyage optimisation programs, fleet and ship management systems, and real-time monitoring applications."Current At Sea is a one-stop-shop solution that is not about simply replacing paper nautical charts with digital ones but is about completely rethinking business processes in order to improve safety, efficiency and costs," said Nicolas Roy, head of the network solutions business unit at Orange Business Services."This bundled, fixed-price offering with Consilium will help shipping companies revolutionise the way their vessels operate and significantly improve the way they do business."This new product will build on a June 2011 global cooperation agreement between Consilium and Orange through which Consilium globally markets Orange marine VSAT communication solutions through its 34 offices in 19 countries.Source: Digital Ship

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New system claims to revolutionise marine broadband communications

iCGlobal - a flexible and future-proof system Service provider Telemar, in partnership with Orbit Communication Systems and Milano Teleport, has launched iCGlobal, described as a flexible and future-proof system combining the all-weather global coverage of C-Band, with the compact OrBand VSAT."iCGlobal is available in a wide range of pricing models and leasing packages which render it highly competitive in pricing while providing unlimited capacity, committed information rate (CIR) and superior performance than solutions such as hybrid Ku/FBB and future Ka" said Giorgio Santantonio, general manager of Telemar Compagnia Generale. "With this solution, ocean-going vessels can achieve true global connectivity today, and rest assured that the quality of service will be constant anywhere and under any weather."The iCGlobal recommended package includes unlimited global airtime at 128kbps CIR, OrBand VSAT system and other necessary equipment plus an extended warranty, at a cost of $3,300 per month."iCGlobal is a strong addition to Telemar Group's portfolio of communication services," added Gennaro Faella, director of corporate operative coordination and business development for Telemar Group. "Telemar's distinctive value is in the integration of best-of-breed technologies in order to create innovative solutions which deliver the specific mix of capabilities required by the various end users."A key component ...

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Telaurus Communications improved its crew email product with proprietary wireless network components

Onboard wi-fi for crew email Telaurus Communications, a Globecomm Maritime company, has unveiled an enhancement to its crew email product, combining the functionality of its se@COMM suite with proprietary wireless network components.Telaurus says that crew communications - particularly SMS and email services - have developed from being an 'optional extra' to an essential service for shipowners and managers serious about crew welfare. Evidence from seafarers suggests that communication while at sea not only improves morale and the overall productivity, it can make the difference between crew staying with the fleet or signing off.The company believes that crew communications must be kept separate from ship's business and there is a need to put the connectivity where the crew can use it safely - in the mess or other communal areas. It ha addressed this need by installing a wireless access point on ships equipped with its se@COMM service to deliver true wireless connectivity to seafarers, accessible via their smartphones or laptop PCs.The wireless access point allows for multiple computers to be introduced without the need to run extra cable. With the use of an extendable antenna unit the connections can bridge multiple compartments without sacrificing bulkhead integrity and without interfering with ...

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Maersk Tankers to deploy CommBox on 70 vessels

Aims to reduce cost routing and to coordinate file transfers, e-mail, and internet access Maersk Tankers is to install the CommBox communications management system from KVH aboard 70 vessels.This group of 70 ships is in addition to 50 existing CommBox-equipped vessels that joined the Maersk fleet following its acquisition of Broström tankers in 2010.The system will be used on the 120 vessels for least cost routing and to coordinate file transfers, e-mail, and internet access for both business and crew use."Maersk Tankers is the largest product tanker owner in the world, and as such, they recognise the need for dynamic network management onboard commercial vessels," said Morten Aasen, managing director of KVH Norway AS."The CommBox is the right solution for these vessels - it will allow Maersk captains and IT managers to closely monitor use of each vessel's onboard satellite communications systems, ensuring good performance at a reduced cost.""With the CommBox QuickWeb and QuickCrew software modules, internet access increases, which benefits crews in their leisure time. In addition, crews get floating e-mail accounts that will travel with them even if they switch vessels."KVH says that CommBox technology is now in use on more than 900 vessels worldwide.Source: Digital ship

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