Page 11: of Offshore Energy Reporter Magazine (January 2015)
Offshore comms is a focus for MCP and capacity of the networks is revo- that’s already started moving.” lutionary. 4G enables and enhances in- Originally, he explains, MCP had MCP Fast Facts novation, and the offshore community, planned to begin LTE roll out in 2015. the eco-system that serves it, and all However, the industry appeal of the ser- • Established in 2002 • HQ in Arendal, Norway additional maritime traffc will beneft vice has fast-tracked initial agreements, • Owned by Telenor hugely from that. with the frst 4G base station being in- • Building offshore proposition but “Of course it’s ambitious, and a sub- stalled – potentially as you read this – already well-established in cruise and ferry segments.
stantial investment in spectrums and on Shell’s Draugen platform, 150 km • Currently has 16 GSM (2G) infrastructure,” he concedes, “but the off the coast of Kristiansund. All work installations in the North Sea market demand is defnitely there.” there should be fnalised before the end • MCP’s CellAtSea network recorded 16 million users in 2013 of 2014.
• In the same year data traffc over the “They (the owners) see the benefts,”
Platform for Success?
network grew by 105%
The scale of those ambitions is seen in Støldal opines, “and that openness, that the network infrastructure required. appreciation of the potential here, will packages such as Feriesurf EU, which help us as we build the network.”
To deliver Støldal’s “new mobile com- allows 40mb of data a day for $4.38). munications reality” MCP must install a “If you compare it to the cost of using latticework of 4G base stations and con- satellite services,” he continues, “which
Money Talks trol systems across the entire territory, But are those benefts worth the costs? is the current standard, it’s a signifcant situating the technology on existing Readers will be able to appreciate that price reduction … just a fraction of the offshore infrastructure, such as oil and modern business processes and tech- cost. That will enable companies to rely gas platforms. This will facilitate high nology will perform better with better more on communication, data transfer capacity networks (which can be closed/ channels of data exchange – working to- etc., meaning, for example, they could internal for companies transferring busi- gether across secure, reliable networks carry out tasks onshore in the future that ness critical information) close to instal- for improved effciencies and under- have to be done offshore today. There’s lations and activity hubs, while quality, standing. Similarly, everyone can re- huge effciencies there.
real-time broadband services can be late to enhanced personal quality of life “I think customers will see the value in pushed further to the very remotest parts through better connectivity, especially if that, don’t you?” of operating felds. you’re reading this online. On the subject of rolling out 4G be- “This isn’t a completely new propo- However, the words ‘mobile at sea’ yond the NCS, Støldal is equally enthu- sition for us though,” the MCP chief is have the ability to strike fear into any siastic, yet coy.
quick to impart, stating that the frm al- cost conscious service consumer. Prices “If you look at our position in cruise ready operates a GSM (2G) service on often have a reputation for being on the and ferry we’re a global business,” he the NCS, connecting offshore vessels vertigo-inducing side of high. So, will states, “and of course we’d like to emu- for frms such as Subsea7, Gulf Off- this service be any different? late that in the offshore market. And I shore and DeepOcean. Støldal smiles. It’s too early, he in- think we can. But this is the frst project
But GSM isn’t 4G. Surely that incurs timates, to give away exact details of of its kind and we’re going to take it step new agreements, new technology and a the pricing structure, but it will be in by step to ensure everything is in place new installation strategy? keeping with standard Telenor mobile and the service is of the optimal quality. “Yes,” Støldal admits, “there will be a roaming costs, which, he says, are “very “After that,” he exhales with a smile, greater need for new infrastructure, but competitive” (Telenor’s website shows “well, we’ll see …” www.worldenergynews.com