[SatNews] Marlink and the high capacity offshore communications provider Tampnet have signed a partner agreement for the delivery of offshore LTE (Long Term Evolution) based services in the North Sea. The agreement forms the foundation for Marlink to integrate cutting-edge, low-latency 4G services into its established VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) and MSS (Mobile Satellite Services) portfolio, which today is used by Marlink equipped offshore support vessels for operational and crew communication in the North Sea. By adding 4G services to the connectivity portfolio, Marlink can better serve vessels in the North Sea by providing them the best available connectivity at any time regardless of where they sail.
A key aspect of Tampnet’s 4G infrastructure service for offshore communication is low latency, with Round Trip Delay between offshore vessels and client corporate offices expected to be no more than 25-35ms, depending on where they are located. This supports a high-quality user experience for diverse applications where lower latency can improve performance, such as video calling or machine-to-machine communication on critical, specialist operations. By adding 4G as another carrier to the Marlink connectivity portfolio, offshore customers can benefit from much higher throughput compared to other carriers in remote locations.
Tampnet’s 4G service is built on top of its offshore core network consisting of 2500 km of offshore fiber. This core network connects the producing oil platforms in the North Sea, delivering 4G connectivity to rigs, vessels and anything else of a mobile nature at sea via base stations mounted to rigs and other fixed installations. Tampnet is building a single LTE based network covering the Norwegian, British and Danish sectors of the North Sea, enabling vessels to move freely from different areas of operation without losing connectivity. The technology is as flexible as the 4G mobile technology used onshore and planned roaming agreements will enable vessels to retain their connectivity near the coast and in port.
“We are excited about partnering with the market leader in marine communications in the offshore industry. We are confident that the technology will add value to Marlink and its customer base. Marlink’s vast offshore experience and competent technical personnel will undoubtedly ensure professional installation, integration and maintenance of the LTE equipment on board its customers’ vessels,” said Per Helge Svensson, Managing Director, Tampnet.
Tore Morten Olsen, Head of Maritime Satcoms in Airbus Defence and Space, said: “Our partnership with Tampnet will help us to meet a significant market requirement and is integral to the development of hybrid, low-latency connectivity solutions where VSAT, MSS, 4G and Wi-Fi combine to provide a seamless user-experience that offers excellent value due to automatic, least-cost routing. Furthermore, it is reassuring for us as a service provider that Tampnet’s LTE network is based on the largest fibre based offshore communication network in the world.”