Anglo-Eastern announced its first formal installation of Starlink’s maritime broadband service within its managed fleet ahead of wider rollout in the months ahead.
The installation is part of a preliminary order covering a dozen vessels of various ship types and trading patterns, trialed across a number of scenarios before broader roll-out in the coming months. The ship manager said it expects at least 200 installations across its fleet by year-end, with more to follow.
“We quietly started our journey a year ago, when Starlink first announced its ‘RV’ service. Once installed on several vessels, we knew immediately it was a game-changer,” said Torbjorn Dimblad, Chief Information Officer of Anglo-Eastern. “Overnight, these ships became as connected as any office or home, affording the crew unprecedented access to friends and family while enabling an entirely new level of collaboration between ship and shore.”
Dimblad sees the introduction of Starlink Maritime as arriving at a perfect time. “Part of our digitalization journey was to standardize our hardware on board. Since 2020, we have commissioned over 600 data centers and replaced 5,000 workstations across the fleet. The underlying infrastructure is now in place to leverage the accelerated connectivity.”
At the same time, satellite service providers have reported significant increases in the demand for bandwidth, fueled by the pandemic as well as new technology solutions on board. Starlink adds terabytes of network capacity, with low latency at a competitive price.
“Initially, all of that additional bandwidth will go to doing what we do today, only more of it and faster,” said Bjorn Hojgaard, Chief Executive Officer of Anglo-Eastern.
“The addition of Starlink’s LEO network – and OneWeb and Project Kuiper thereafter – will change life on board in a way that we have never experienced in the history of shipping. Soon seafarers will be ‘always-on’, enjoying the same connectivity that we ashore have been used to. The ship will become a seamless extension of the office, where members of the team just happen to be closer to the machinery.
“If an issue arises on board that requires support, the vessel team can launch a Teams video call to ask for a hand. During off-hours, the latest movies or television shows can be streamed live from home, while one crew member posts to their YouTube vlog and another two attend an online seminar together. The possibilities are endless, and I believe this will help make our industry safer and more attractive for current and future generations.”
In the meantime, Dimblad and his team are working to follow up on the installations. “At Anglo-Eastern, we are fortunate to have many forward-thinking clients who are willing to make investments for their crews. We are also fortunate to be working directly with the Starlink team. There is a lot to learn as we scale up the deployment, not just in terms of the technology and service, but more importantly, what opportunities it will bring for the broader safe operation of our vessels.”