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Airbus: ‘Paradigm change’ for maritime IT and communications

Oslo: Shipping is in the midst of huge change in how it views the role of satellite communications, something that is set to change the industry forever. That’s the view of Tore Morten Olsen, who heads up the maritime satcoms division at Airbus Defence and Space.

“We are seeing a paradigm change in the world of maritime IT and communications,” Olsen tells Maritime CEO. “Whereas previously vessels were often seen as separate units of a IT network,” he explains, “today IT and communications are much more integrated, to the extent one can think of vessels sailing at sea as remote offices that are part of a globally connected network – at least when it comes to forward thinking companies who understand that IT and communications technology can help them to operate smarter.”

Olsen cites as an example, a customer, Simon Møkster, an established Norwegian offshore vessel operator, who he says is at the forefront of what he describes as “the remote office school of thought”. Simon Møkster runs a fleet of 23 advanced offshore support vessels that are connected to shore and each other using Marlink VSAT. All vessels use Microsoft’s Lync, a standardised business collaboration and communication platform which is also linked to the same system at the shore office, resulting in operational benefits in addition to substantial savings in the cost of crew calling, Olsen says.

“Using Lync via Marlink VSAT enables bridge and engine room teams to access low-cost and reliable, telephony, video conferencing, instant messaging and data sharing,” Olsen says.

“Going forward we envisage more forward thinking companies viewing smart shipping as the best way to operate efficiently,” the Norwegian citizen tells Maritime CEO.

Airbus provides communication solutions via satellite for merchant ships, offshore vessels, cruise and ferry vessels and superyachts all over the world.

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