Globecomm has received a contract from German ship-owner Reederei Thomas Schulte to install its crew Wi-Fi service on 40 ships in the Schulte fleet.
According to the deal, Globecomm will install wireless data communications systems on vessels managed by Schulte’s in-house technical manager OCEAN Shipmanagement. This crew Wi-Fi service was launched last year to provide crew with cost-effective and low-maintenance email and SMS accessthrough personal laptops and smartphones. Globecomm has previously provided its crew Wi-Fi service to five ships of Thomas Schulte through a third party provider..
Globecomm German agent Nordic-IT owner Heiko Hoefer said the company always believed that the Wi-Fi for crew concept was an idea that would be popular, and this contract is an endorsement of the work it has done to make it a reality for shipowners and managers. “This concept answers several questions at once: it is inexpensive to install and use, low maintenance and simple to administer – exactly what a ship manager needs for a large fleet,” Hoefer said.
OCEAN Shipmanagement had decided to install the Wi-Fi service on all its managed fleet, following the successful trial of the service on three Thomas Schulte ships, which saw over 500 messages and voice calls occurring per ship per month.
In order to supply power to the Wi-Fi service, the airtime provider Iridium will install its OpenPort system and provide two hardwired phone lines in the crew and officers’ mess and one commercial wireless phone for the captain, which allows him to remain in contact whether he is on the bridge or the ship’s office.
The company said that it is in the process of rolling out more than 100 crew Wi-Fi installations to German-controlled vessels, which allow for the connection of multiple computers without the need to run extra cable.
The new service will offer a bi-directional, unlimited email service with rich text messages and attachments, without requiring any separate software installation; the hardware requirements are a compatible plug and play Wi-Fi router. Crew members can also send / receive photos through se@IMAGE at a low cost.
Crew Wi-Fi’s communications are kept completely separate and distinct from ship’s business, and the service is completely administration-free for both shore office and the ship, while the crew can set up and top up their own accounts using their own credit cards.
Source: ship-technology, January 23, 2012; Image: schulteship