Shipping Company Groningen (SCG) has contracted offshore internet services provider Castor Marine to install its Global 4G Connectivity package on all 30 of its vessels. With this, the coasters will have a fast, global 4G-LTE internet connection for its crews.
On its fleet, SCG offers its personnel a Crew Welfare Zone with free internet within the 12-mile (4G) zone. To realize this, SCG wanted a plug-and-play, cost-efficient system that is always operational and doesn't interfere with the crew's activities.
To make this happen, a seamless transition between 4G and the Inmarsat Fleetbroadband (or Iridium Open Port L-Band satellite connection) outside that zone was needed. Castor Marine's 4G Connectivity Package (including dedicated software installed on the Peplink routers) ensures a seamless failover of connectivity between the 4G and satellite connection. Hence, the crew doesn't notice the transition and simply can get on with their work. Furthermore, the connection allows for real-time data insights from any device.
When Clemens Ros and Marc van Gemert from SCG's IT department wanted advice about a 4G service for its crew, Castor Marine came up with a hybrid connectivity solution switching between 4G LTE and L-band.
Marc van Gemert, IT Manager at SCG, said, "We chose Castor Marine because of the pleasant cooperation, correct pricing and their responsive way of working which ensures that the technical solution we were looking for was customized to our fleet. Actually, some of our captains have already reported that they had 4G connectivity at 45 nautical miles from the coast. We are looking forward to see the system installed and then be able to forget about it."
Raymon Lubbers, sales director at Castor Marine, said, "With our system, you'll never have to check if an internet connection is still running when it shouldn't. The services and equipment we deliver have to work, always. Both as crewmember and in the office, you don't notice these things until it doesn't work. We strive, on every vessel, to never reach that point. That is why we have tested and certified the 4G solution extensively. It is also the reason our Support Network Operating Center is on call 24/7."
For those who are more technically inclined: no matter where the vessel is or with which network it is connected, the software ensures that a VPN tunnel continues to exist even when the IP addresses change when the vessel connects to another network.
With a mix of, among others, user rights, firewalls, SD-WAN and real-time monitoring tools for each individual data stream and access point, the user is in control.