Marlink, a smart network solutions company, added SpaceX’s Starlink service to its offerings for maritime and enterprise customers. Marlink has integrated Starlink to its “smart hybrid network” which includes multiple communications services. The company already has contracts with several companies that integrated the “smart hybrid network” to their vessels, as previously reported by TESMANIAN.
Most recently, Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) partnered with Marlink to install SpaceX Starlink on its sea-going vessels to evaluate the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite service. “Under an agreement struck at the end of 2022, the leading Japanese shipping company will assess past, present and future user experiences and explore access how Internet access can contribute to the company’s crew recruitment and retention strategy, using the low-latency Starlink service within Marlink’s smart hybrid network solution,” representatives of Marlink shared in a press release.
MOL shared that it already performed sea trials on an MOL-operated car carrier and demonstrated Starlink speeds that were up to "50 times faster" than traditional satellite-based broadband services. Enhanced connectivity at sea plays a vital role in improving crew communication and operations given that some vessels depend on GPS and new AI-operated systems. Having a reliable Internet service enhances the living and working conditions of seafarers. By utilizing Starlink service, seafarers can enjoy the same level of connectivity as they would on land, granting them access to movies, news, and video calls, which is important when they spend weeks out working at sea. MOL shared a video of the SpaceX Starlink installation by Marlink engineers, as well as the crew testing the satellite service, shown below. Upon connecting the Starlink antenna, the crew immediately accessed high-speed internet with a download speed of around 210 Mbps (megabits per second).
“Seafarers’ work requires to spend time far from home, and it is extremely important to have improved Internet connectivity onboard so that we can connect with family and friends in real time via video calls, even while we are at sea,” said one of the crew members on board the vessel that was equipped with Starlink.
VIDEO: Marlink equips MOL Vessel with SpaceX Starlink Internet
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Featured Image Source: MOL video screenshots via YouTube
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.