Stena Line’s ferry communication services have received a significant upgrade to the VSAT connectivity on board their vessels.
Marlink has more than trebled the bandwidth in Stena Line’s fleet-wide Closed User Group (CUG) service and integrated GSM 3/4G services for connectivity during voyages in addition to in-port Internet Wi-Fi networks. The upgrade enables Stena Line to offer its passengers faster Internet speeds to meet the growing demand for access to social media and connectivity for working while travelling. By combining Sealink VSAT, GSM 3/4G and Wi-Fi through the multi-band solution, Marlink enables hundreds of separate high-speed Wi-Fi connections for Stena Line’s 25 ship fleet.
The Sealink VSAT CUG configuration ensures high bandwidth and availability of voice and Internet access, in addition to providing the flexibility to optimise connectivity based on demands. Before this upgrade, the CUG was based on an already industry-leading bandwidth allocation, which all 25 vessels in the fleet could access on a shared basis. Now, Stena Line’s fleet has direct access to significantly more bandwidth on diverse, integrated carriers.
Stena Line’s dynamic new service is designed specifically for its fleet to make the best use of a large shared capacity pool. Vessels receiving connectivity within 3/4G coverage areas or Wi-Fi while in port will require less from the VSAT CUG capacity, allowing even more satellite bandwidth to be available for other vessels and passengers at sea that are using the VSAT CUG. Taking advantage of Marlink’s multi-band configuration, the vessels will switch automatically between Sealink VSAT and 3/4G in addition to hooking into port Wi-Fi services when docked, ensuring seamless communication and connectivity for passengers and crew.
Raimo Warkki, Commercials, Ship Communication and Systems, Stena Line, related that this upgrade ensures the company will be better able to meet the fast-changing needs of ferry passengers, who expect seamless, always available connection to the Internet in addition to high quality, cost-effective voice calling.
Tore Morten Olsen, President Maritime, Marlink, added that Stena Line was the first ferry operator to introduce free Internet access and the first to trial integrated multi-band services for their passengers.