Athens-based ship manager Blue Planet has joined the list of Greek operators adding Elon Musk’s Starlink system, having begun the roll-out of the satcom service across its fleet of dry bulk carriers.
The company is working with its connectivity provider Navarino on the project, with the first two installations now complete.
“While we are going to deploy the new service onto all our vessels, for the time being we have completed the installations on two. The feedback on Starlink from onboard so far has been very encouraging, with our seafarers especially excited by the speeds they can now enjoy, which on average is around 80 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload, but we have seen up to 150 Mbps download on occasion,” said Theodoros Papadopoulos, Chief IT Manager for Blue Planet.
“Obviously this is a huge increase compared to traditional VSAT GEO systems and we are happy to offer each of our crewmembers 1GB of free data per week, meaning that it is easier than ever for our seafarers to stay in close contact with their loved ones, which is one of our top priorities.”
“Starlink is also much easier to be deployed and installed than other satellite communication platforms – we simply ship all the Starlink antennas to our Rotterdam warehouse and then send them to our fleet around the world to install, without the need for cranes or long delays, as the antenna can be up and running in a few hours.”
On the business side, the company will use the service to support the transfer of heavy data files such as new patches and updates to the onboard infrastructure, noting that it can now carry out security updates in less than a week which could previously have taken almost a month.
“For modern ship operators, connectivity is more important than ever, and the addition of Starlink to our portfolio will enable completely new ways of working for the maritime sector, as well as bringing a big upgrade to crew welfare and seafarer happiness,” said Kiriakos Striboulis, VP Market Intelligence for Navarino.
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with Blue Planet to help them get the most from their new communications platform and from the Navarino technology solutions we can provide them with.”