Raise the quality of life on board
Maritime communications are evolving at a phenomenal rate and the market is showing signs that the maritime industry may have access to the same services and applications to that of land based services.
Using the Internet ashore with broadband connectivity is considered to be a daily habit, and in many cases a must. We use it with our smartphones, tablets, in the office, even at home with Smart TVs, all of which have a great impact on our lives. Now we are experiencing the next generation of seafarers who are born with a mobile in their hand and are experts when it comes to new technology. However when they step foot upon a ship equipped with narrow band technology terminals they see access to the internet impossible. This technological evolution, alongside the transformation of business ashore, is forcing huge changes onboard ships.
There is increasing pressure on ship operators to set themselves apart from the competition by providing a better overview about the vessel’s operation including: cargo status and containers temperature, fleet tracking and reporting with real time updates, bunker fuel consumption, and crew welfare issues. These requirements are pushing operators to bring the vessel closer to the office, with the need to manage, monitor, control, and improve processes such as on-line planned maintenance, compliance reports, e-purchasing, e-learning, entertaining, port documentation, as well as dealing with the various regulations and conformances. This is made possible through broadband connectivity.
In addition, as crews are not staying ashore for long periods anymore and as the current communications that exist onboard are said to still be lagging some 10 years behind terrestrial connections, seafarers are now seeking employment with operators who can provide internet café style facilities, or operators who are looking into the possibilities to having such systems onboard their vessels. For crews, communications are of growing importance and it is essential that operators do their utmost to enhance crew morale and welfare onboard by providing this service. Recruitment challenges will once again become a hot-topic as crew move on to more ‘connected’ vessels, impacting crew retention and costs for the operator. By deploying the organisation’s intranet and messaging onboard the vessels, the crew will better communicate and collaborate with the shore staff resulting in improved performance for the benefit of their organisation.
“ The Telaccount iCafé is giving me the luxury of talking (chatting) with my family directly at any time through Google Talk and check my Gmail too. ”
Mohd Rizwan, 3rd Engineer , MV Marianne Schulte
Telaccount Overseas has evaluated several systems in order to provide enhanced communication services onboard and today's technology allows the shipping industry to provide internet access in a cost effective way.
The Telaccount iCafé is a fully integrated solution that includes all hardware, software, airtime, management, and administration of communication, delivered with the end-user experience at its centre, both technically and financially.
Broadband internet connectivity allows crew members to utilise their free time onboard more creatively, and the Telaccount iCafé offers the crew internet facilities such as web browsing and VoIP services at different levels. Following full deployment of the iCafé onboard the vessels, all crew will be able to browse the internet, send emails and keep in touch with their families and friends over social media networks.
The Telaccount iCafé operates like the internet access in many hotels using Inmarsat’s high data allowance plans like the 2GB, 6GB, AYCE and XPRESSLINK. Access to the system will be through the internet browser, which will automatically navigate to a login page requesting your internet access pin code (obtained from a data pin card). Crew will need to obtain data pin cards in order to gain access on the iCafé. The Telaccount iCafé can currently support four users at the same time based on the current transmission speeds of the satellite terminals. During the connection, the system will show the remaining amount of data available on the pin card, which allows the user to control their usage rate.