Page 44: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2004)

The Cruise Shipping Edition

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Satellite Communications

Maritime communications is an estimated $1 billion indus- try, encompassing ship operators, merchant fleets, govern- ments and private yacht owners. There is arguably no more quickly evolving technical sector in the maritime market than the satellite communications niche. Safety, operational efficien- cy and quality of life onboard vessels of all type and size today more than ever depends on clear, reliable and cost effective satellite communication services and products. The following reports on recent advances from major service, product and system suppliers.

The year started with news that Connexion by Boeing, a business unit of The Boeing Company, would roll-out its high speed satellite broadband capability for the maritime industry. "We're actively engaged in discussions with several of the leading maritime opera- tors, as well as potential distributors, and have received a tremen- dously positive response to our service and the speeds at which we can move data," said Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson.

Connexion by Boeing has tested real-time data communication and a live, high-quality video teleconferencing from a private vessel in

Seattle's Lake Union to its Seattle campus. The Connexion by

Boeing maritime solution is designed to be faster (approximately ten times faster, the company claims) and cheaper than existing maritime communications systems available, though final details on system and service pricing were not available at press time.

In late 2003 Globalstar, L.P. was acquired by Thermo Capital

Partners, a plan which seems aimed to expand the provider's poten- tial. The new company is planning to introduce an accelerated busi- ness expansion plan later in 2004. Globalstar's business assets were transferred to the new company, and will operate under the

Globalstar brand name. "This is the beginning of a new, very encouraging chapter for Globalstar," said company president Tony

Navarra. "Our working relationship with Thermo has already spanned many months, and as a result, we have been able to rapid- ly develop with them an outline for an aggressive business plan that 44 will give

Globalstar the opportunity to broaden our busi- ness and to introduce new products and serv- ices in the future."

Cunard's new flagship, the 151,400 ton Queen Mary 2, has garnered its fair share of headlines and coverage in this, as well as many other business and consumer publications around the world. The world's largest cruise ship requires many innovative systems and products, and satcom is no exception. Maritime Telecommunications

Network (MTN) satellite-based mobile communica- tions platform is installed on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 to provide passengers and crew with a broad suite of Internet access and other communications services. MTN has outfitted

QM2 with full redundancy services including dual antennas and its redundant FLYAWAY MPEG-2 Digital Video unit. Each antenna on the 151,400-ton vessel has 12 lines providing a total of 24 mul- tiple voice, fax and data capabilities. (Photo Courtesy of Eutelsat.

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.