Maritime Connectivity – Telecom26’s service for vessels of all sizes on-sea and in-port
10 January 2023

Maritime Connectivity – Telecom26’s service for vessels of all sizes on-sea and in-port

10 January 2023

Providing Maritime Connectivity to vessels of all sizes is one of Telecom26’s core competencies.

As a global maritime connectivity operator, Telecom26 has a complete range of maritime connectivity solutions including nearshore connectivity and private networks at sea for vessels, crews, devices, smart containers and whomever and whatever needs to be connected whilst at sea – or in port.

We provide the maritime connectivity which is required for the digital ship, IoT connectivity, crew welfare, passengers and much more.

We offer bespoke maritime and marine communications services that integrate inbound and outbound roaming, with full support of data services.

Our maritime connectivity services include:

  • A full Cellular At Sea service for vessels of all sizes
  • A Nearshore Connectivity Service - Our recent blog “Nearshore Connectivity - perfect for vessels up to 30km off the coast” discusses how most ships and vessels spend the majority (up to 60%) of their time in port or in coastal waters. They are therefore within range of land-based cellular networks which can provide coverage to vessels as far out as 30km. So, instead of relying on costly satellite for data or connectivity, vessels – and the people on-board - can use these cellular networks.
  • Networks for personal communications, onboard
  • A Maritime IoT Service including private networks on-board vessels, oil rigs and platforms – and supply chain tracking.

At the heart of our maritime connectivity services are our Global eSIM and physical SIM cards.  These provide data to all onboard devices via cellular data links.  By onboard devices we mean Wi-Fi routers, container sensors, IoT networks, any system process that needs to connect to the internet, to a remote server or monitor – as well as the phones and devices of the crew.

Our Global eSIM and physical SIMs can access most terrestrial and maritime networks. Not all networks are equally available – some offer better coverage in some locations than others. And, every country has its own range of terrestrial network operators. This means that, as a vessel moves along the coast, different networks may be available.

Private Networks at Sea

A private network at sea is a private cellular network on a ship.  They are essentially closed networks that are deployed in a specific location.

As a maritime operator, Telecom26 is now building out mobile private networks at sea for a number of customers as part of our Cellular At Sea service.

As a result of our own experiences, and those of our customers, we firmly believe that vessels of all shapes and sizes should have their own mobile private networks at sea in the same way businesses on land have private terrestrial networks over fibre, wireless or satellite on their business premises.

Mobile private networks at sea enable ships to have control over their own networks and billing - as well as providing cruise ships with another source of revenue from passengers who would be able to use their domestic SIMs on the ship’s mobile private network.

You can read more about private networks at sea here:

Maritime Connectivity for your crew

For vessel owners who care about the welfare of their crew and understand that being able to communicate with the outside world during a voyage improves the quality of life of their team, there are a few different options to provide connectivity to their crews:

  • Supply Telecom26 Global eSIM cards for sailors to insert in their personal devices. The fleet owner could pick up the cost of these or charge a fixed rate. Either way it would work out cheaper for the sailors than roaming on random networks as they travel.
  • Use Telecom26 routers to create a private on-board LAN/Wi-Fi network which the crew can access.

Finally, our Global eSIM cards enable sailors to communicate with family and friends when they are on-shore. As one sailor commented that “sometimes when we reach port you find that SIM cards are expensive.”

Maritime Connectivity for your cruise customers

Naturally passengers on cruise ships will expect the same levels of connectivity on-board that they experience onshore. Providing this is something that our team has been working on for quite some time with considerable success.

For companies providing leisure or cruise services, private networks can be offered to passengers in two ways:

Firstly, passengers can be allowed to connect to the ship’s private network as they would roam on any other network.  In this case, they will be responsible for their own bills and would pay the roaming fees direct to their operator.

Or, a ship can sell its own Telecom26 SIMs with pre-defined packages and bundles, so passengers can use the ship’s private network. This means that they will avoid the roaming charges of their home operators - and provides a new revenue stream for Cruise operators.

You can read more in our earlier blog As Cruise Liners Re-open Their Hatches, Passengers Expect High-Quality, Reliable and Affordable Connectivity At Sea.

Satellite, cellular and our Maritime Connectivity service

For years, satellite has been the mainstay for maritime connectivity - nearshore and offshore. Fact is, however, that most vessels spend the majority of their time in port or hugging the coast.  This means that it’s far more cost-effective to use existing cellular networks for nearshore maritime connectivity rather than satellite. 

However, the major problem with the cellular at sea approach is that traditionally multiple SIMs have been required to ensure coverage throughout a vessel’s journey, especially when it’s travelling cross-border.

We use the networks of multiple cellular and satellite operators to provide our dedicated maritime connectivity service.

We will shortly be announcing our new partnership with Sateliot, the first company to build a satellite network dedicated to providing 5G connectivity to IoT devices.  This news will be of great interest to our maritime connectivity customers.

In addition, the expansion of Telecom26’s 5G capabilities will help improve the connectivity of the people and devices on-board vessels of all sizes.

Catching-up in-person

We will be at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 27 February – 2 March and will be launching several new services and discussing lots of other global and maritime connectivity subjects including:

  • Our growing global network of 5G partners
  • Our eSIM packages – Telecom26 provides a complete range of eSIM and eUICC solutions that enable seamless profile delivery and management and remove the need to ship and deploy physical SIMs

If you’d like to arrange to meet there then please book a meeting.

Or if you’d like a call to discuss how our maritime connectivity and maritime cellular communications services can connect the people and devices on-board your vessels as they travel around the world then please get in touch.

Ready to talk?

We are here to help!
Let us know how we can help your project.