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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Asian vessel owners turn to VSAT

Wed 08 Aug 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Asian vessel owners turn to VSAT
Uniwise will be deploying Thaicom VSAT onboard its offshore support vessels

Asian offshore support vessel operators are increasingly turning to VSAT for ship communications using local providers that operate a satellite network.

Uniwise Offshore has become the latest in a string of owners that have decided to install Ku-band VSAT to enhance onboard communications and crew welfare across its fleet.

It has contracted Thaicom to deploy its Nava communications on a fleet of more than 30 vessels. Uniwise will also include onboard services such as fleet management, crew online communications and electronic document handling.

Nava VSAT services will enable ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications with higher levels of connectivity for operational and social requirements. It will be backed up by an L-band satellite communications service.

Uniwise Offshore senior general manager for operations Jon-Axel Hauglum said investing in VSAT would “boost operations and improve crew welfare across our entire fleet.”

He added that Nava VSAT will “allow us to operate more efficiently and offer our crew a workplace which is always connected to high speed internet.”

Thaicom will be able to provide wide area satellite coverage across Asia Pacific from its own satellites.

Uniwise Offshore, is a joint venture between Thai offshore, shipyard and logistics group, Unithai Group, and Singapore-based Miclyn Express Offshore (MEO). It operates a fleet of crewboats, anchor handlers, marine support and utility vessels in the Gulf of Thailand. It supports drilling rig activities, single point mooring maintenance, cargo transportation, towage and oil spill response duties.

Its investment in VSAT follows June’s announcement that SC Group had started investing in Thaicom VSAT and fleet management services for its offshore support vessels and towage tugs. It is installing Nava VSAT and Connect fleet administration services on more than 30 towage and escort tugs and anchor handlers.

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