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SingTel’s New Maritime Package Highlights Growth Plans at Sea

By | October 20, 2011
      [Satellite TODAY Insider 10-20-11] Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has launched a new, low-cost maritime communications package to allow shipping companies to optimize operational costs and enhance welfare for their crew, the company announced Oct. 19.
         The one-stop package aims to provide high-availability broadband and enterprise ICT components for a cost of $2,888. The package includes SingTel’s All-in-One (AIO) Connect Services to enable shipping companies to offer secure and always-on Internet connectivity to their crews. The technology provides secure and fast data transfer and VoIP to be modulated at a cost-effective level of 4 to 6 kilobits-per-second.
         SingTel also said the package provides Fleet managers with access to an integrated network management system (iNMS) facilitating end-to-end management and fleet visibility from land. This includes monitoring of device usage, visibility into network statistics and online administration, monitoring, setting of online alerts, filters and mailbox management.
         “SingTel is committed to helping maritime customers improve their bottom line and efficiency while bettering the lives of their crew,” SingTel Vice President of Satellite Titus Yong told Satellite TODAY Insider.
         Improved crew welfare also is creating strong opportunities for satellite solution providers. According to Yong, increased access to broadband, communications and entertainment services is becoming a critical issue to shipping operators. “Isolation at sea makes it extremely difficult to attract and retain talents in the industry, especially the next generation of seafarers who are [information technology] savvy and used to being connected. This has resulted in a severe manpower shortage in the maritime industry today. The latest Drewry Shipping Consultants Manning 2009 Annual Report estimates there will be a worldwide shortfall of 56,000 officers in 2013, assuming the world commercial fleet grows by 14.6 percent,” he said.
         A retention survey conducted by Shiptalk Recruitment and Gilmour Research showed that 71 percent of seafarers polled indicated that broadband Internet access was the most important facility to have onboard, followed by telephone and e-mail access. “Rapid advancements in broadband technologies have ushered in a new era in maritime communications and business innovation and so we expect strong growth in the adoption of maritime broadband and [information and communication technologies solutions]. Several leading shipping companies have recognized the importance of [information and communication technologies solutions] in improving the way they operate and differentiate themselves from their competitors.”

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