Speedcast, a communications and IT services provider, and OneWeb, the global low Earth orbit (LEO) communications network, have launched OneWeb’s maritime LEO connectivity service.
Following successful engineering trials, OneWeb’s maritime terminals have been installed on the RV Polarstern, in partnership with Reederei F. Laeisz and Speedcast, delivering the first fully managed service and support.
Speedcast customer Reederei F. Laeisz is a leading German shipping company with a diverse fleet of more than 30 vessels, with experience in conducting remote operations in the polar regions for more than 25 years. The Research Vessel Polarstern, managed by Reederei F. Laeisz and operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), is a key player in Germany’s polar research and the designated resupply vessel for AWI’s Neumayer Station III, the base for German Antarctic Research. It has been in operations for more than 40 years in the Polar regions.
OneWeb’s maritime LEO connectivity service enables delivery of a high-speed, low-latency, globally consistent experience for customers – even in the most remote sea lanes and maritime communities.
In addition to the OneWeb LEO service, as part of a hybrid connectivity solution deployed on the Polarstern, Speedcast is also providing additional LEO-based and L-band services – integrated via Speedcast’s SIGMA network management platform for complete traffic prioritization. The fully managed solution is deployed to offer the Polarstern’s crew, as well as the scientific expedition participants from around the world, with high-throughput services for their operations in the North Sea, Arctic regions and all the way up to the North Pole.
In order to provide OneWeb’s low-latency broadband mobility service, Speedcast has deployed Intellian’s latest maritime user terminal, the OW70M. These exceptional terminals are some of the most network efficient in the OneWeb portfolio with the technology to deliver the highest bandwidth packages available to cruise, superyacht, energy, fishing and commercial shipping customers. The OW70M’s additional heating module allows it to withstand extreme temperatures of up to -40oC, ideal for Polarstern’s Arctic expedition. Speedcast and Intellian previously announced a multi-year partnership agreement in 2022.
OneWeb and Speedcast signed a distribution partnership agreement last year, provisioning the addition of OneWeb’s enterprise-grade, high-speed LEO connectivity to Speedcast’s Unified Global Platform (UGP), which is one of the largest technology-agnostic networks in the world. This integrates LEO as a connectivity pathway, joining GEO, MEO and 4G/5G for high-demand applications. Since then, successful customer trials have solidified the LEO service now offered for Speedcast’s maritime customers.
“We’re excited to partner with OneWeb on the first live deployment of its LEO maritime connectivity network for our customer, supporting the research efforts of AWI and international scientists aboard the RV Polarstern,” said Andre Eerland, Vice President, Commercial Maritime at Speedcast. “This project represents an important step forward in a changing industry landscape, where customers now have more options than ever to ensure reliable and seamless connectivity while operating in the most remote places on earth. We’re proud to work with innovative partners, such as OneWeb and Intellian, to deliver critical connectivity solutions as customers continue to embrace the benefits of multi-path, multi-orbit technologies.”
“Fittingly, in the light of Nor-Shipping’s overarching theme of #PartnerShip, OneWeb is launching its LEO connectivity services at sea hand-in-hand with our industry partners, who have years of experience in developing, deploying and servicing certified, scalable and responsible connectivity solutions to the maritime industry,” said Carole Plessy, VP Maritime and Europe at OneWeb. “OneWeb is working collaboratively with the industry and connecting customers via established industry expert distribution partners such as Speedcast.”
OneWeb’s maritime service offers +100mbps and more of enterprise-grade connectivity for applications at sea. The solution’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) model offers customers added flexibility, underpinned by guaranteed service levels defined by straightforward CIR (Committed Information Rate) and MIR (Maximum Information Rate) package options.