Vessel optimisation, data transfer, IoT, and compliance with increasing regulations and environmental measures have made digital connectivity a ‘must have’ for modern shipping. High tech ships are now offices at sea and the associated requirements for managing large volumes of critical data via reliable connectivity are increasing exponentially. This is why network management systems, such as IEC Telecom’s OneGate, have become central to onboard connectivity. This technology enables automated failover at least cost routing meaning that, at each given moment, a vessel can direct its comms traffic over the most competitive channel, operating seamlessly over GSM and satcom.
Ship-to-shore communications have been permanently transformed with digitalisation. Today, videoconferencing is a corporate communication expectation. Whereas previously it was almost impossible to achieve at sea due to bandwidth limitations and latency levels, new software has been developed to enable videoconferencing to be used even over the limited speed of L-band back-up channels. Moreover, systems such as IEC Telecom’s OneAssist application (with its handsfree headset supporting voice, video-streaming, and file exchange) enable repairs, spare part fitting, or vessel system updates to be completed by a crew member or onsite technician. As ships move ever closer towards the possibility of full automation, the number of business-critical applications are expected to increase exponentially.