Ship manager Anglo-Eastern has confirmed that it has completed its first formal installation of the Starlink maritime broadband service within its fleet, the beginning of a roll-out set to cover a dozen vessels of various ship types and trading patterns as part of a preliminary order for the system.
The company says that the initial implementation has been carried out so that the service can be fully trialled within a number of operational scenarios before the broader roll-out, which is expected to take place in the coming months.
Should everything go as expected Anglo-Eastern says that it expects to complete at least 200 installations across its fleet by the end of 2023, with more to follow in subsequent years from the more than 600 ships it has under full third-party management.
“We quietly started our journey a year ago, when Starlink first announced its ‘RV’ service. Once installed on several vessels, we knew immediately it was a game-changer,” said Anglo-Eastern CIO Torbjorn Dimblad.
“Overnight, these ships became as connected as any office or home, affording the crew unprecedented access to friends and family while enabling an entirely new level of collaboration between ship and shore.”
“Part of our digitalisation journey was to standardise our hardware on board. Since 2020, we have commissioned over 600 data centres and replaced 5,000 workstations across the fleet. The underlying infrastructure is now in place to leverage the accelerated connectivity.”
Anglo-Eastern notes that the connectivity project has been facilitated by the support of its ship owning clients, who have shown their willingness to make investments in the systems for crew welfare. The team has also benefitted from direct interaction with Starlink’s representatives in evaluating deployment options.
“Initially, all of that additional bandwidth will go to doing what we do today, only more of it and faster,” said Anglo-Eastern CEO Bjorn Hojgaard.
“The addition of Starlink’s LEO network – and OneWeb and Project Kuiper thereafter – will change life on board in a way that we have never experienced in the history of shipping. Soon seafarers will be ‘always-on’, enjoying the same connectivity that we ashore have been used to. The ship will become a seamless extension of the office, where members of the team just happen to be closer to the machinery.”
“If an issue arises on board that requires support, the vessel team can launch a Teams video call to ask for a hand. During off-hours, the latest movies or TV shows can be streamed live from home. The possibilities are endless, and I believe this will help make our industry safer and more attractive for current and future generations.”