Marlink and OneWeb have announced plans to conduct the first at sea trial of OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) maritime service.
The initial integration and evaluation will take place at Marlink’s Eik teleport in Norway, with installation and on-vessel trials scheduled for Q4 2022.
In co-operation with hardware providers Intellian and Hughes Network Systems, Marlink will carry out tests to validate throughput, latency and quality on the satcom service. Testing of the hardware will include a review of stability, signal tracking and handover capability.
This will represent the first ‘at sea’ maritime trial on OneWeb’s satellite offering and includes an evaluation of the new user terminal created by Intellian with a core module from Hughes Network Systems, specially designed for the maritime environment.
The two firms had previously announced their intention to collaborate in bringing the new LEO service to the market, in January of this year.
“OneWeb’s LEO service will bring a completely new kind of connectivity to maritime users, providing a high level of quality and performance that will deliver a richer, more immersive and terrestrial-like user experience onboard ships,” said Carole Plessy, Vice President of Europe and Maritime, OneWeb.
“This is a watershed moment for the maritime connectivity market, together with our trusted partner Marlink the testing and evaluation will ensure that we have a fully robust and reliable service in place when commercial operations begin.”
OneWeb currently has 428 satellites in Low Earth Orbit, representing approximately 70% of its planned fleet. It plans to offer a commercial maritime service from January 2023, with global connectivity services from end 2023.