Broadband Maritime: New Communications Networking Offshore & the High Seas 2009 (BM 2009)

Venue: Marina Mandarin Hotel

Location: Singapore, Singapore

Event Date/Time: Feb 18, 2009 End Date/Time: Feb 19, 2009
Registration Date: Feb 17, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 12, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Feb 12, 2009
Report as Spam


Seventy per cent of Earth is covered by the oceans, but, we rarely occupy this part of Earth’s surface except on a temporary basis. The comparative hostility of the seas, in contrast to our populated land masses, does not diminish their vital, and increasing, importance as a means of transport for our globalised trade goods, as an important source of food supplies and of vital energy resources, as well as an environment for our leisure pursuits.

Indeed, it is a combination of its hostility and the increasing importance of the sea that now renders our ability to communicate effectively whilst on its surface just as important as when we engage in our economic activities and social pursuits on dry land. Moreover, those dry land economic activities are themselves increasingly dependent on information and communications technology-related efficiencies on vessels on the high-seas.

Yet, whilst the technology of communications, and the exchange of information which it facilitates, has undergone an accelerated development in recent decades, and is taken for granted throughout developed economies – as well as being a prime facet of the development agenda for developing economies – the widespread deployment of communications technologies and services that are accessible whilst at sea has lagged.

This is the situation no longer, and whilst there has already been much recent improvement in the availability of advanced communications at sea, it is only now that the maritime communications environment is progressing fully, from a mainly narrowband communications arena, and into the broadband age.

“At sea” equates to mobility, and to separation by significant distance from a land-based origin. It also equates to (frequently) arduous environmental and weather conditions, and to isolation from support infrastructures and services available on land.

For all of these reasons, the only way to communicate effectively whilst at sea is via satellite, and the technologies and services to support the increasingly sophisticated information and communications applications solutions required – just as much afloat as on land – are becoming more widely evident in the maritime communications marketplace.

The broad scope of this conference includes those segments of the maritime transport market that we have classified as the Merchant segment, the Passenger segment, the Ocean Resource segment, and the Leisure segment. For the purposes of this conference these segments, and the satellite-based communications applications associated with them, are defined as follows.

The Merchant segment includes tankers for crude oil, its refined derivatives, as well as LNG; container vessels; bulk carriers; oil & gas field maintenance & supply vessels; and cable/fibre/pipeline laying vessels. High demand communications applications in this segment include: remote Internet & corporate intranet access; email & webmail, large file transfers; SMS text & instant messaging; video conferencing; store & forward video; real-time navigation & weather updates; Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS); crew welfare communications; corporate secure communications; vessel & engine telemetry; cargo monitoring & telemetry; and, telemedicine.

The Passenger segment principally refers to point-to-point vehicle & passenger ferries and shares many of the above listed applications, plus that of cellular/mobile backhaul and trunking.

The Ocean Resource segment – which includes inshore fishing trawlers, and their offshore and deepwater equivalents and factory ships, as well as deepwater floating and semi-submersible oil & gas platforms – typically features applications such as telephony; email & Internet access; crew welfare communications; telemedicine; real-time navigation, position reporting & weather updates; GMDSS; sea/ocean floor depth mapping; market information (e.g. fish market price downloads & selling catch online); tracking applications (e.g. fish finding); updating electronic logs.

The Leisure segment – covering ocean-going cruise liners, ocean-going private leisure craft, and inshore leisure craft – communications requirement includes such key applications as: maintenance of 24/7 business communications via telephony, email, fax, Internet, cellular backhaul & trunking, and video conferencing, as well as credit card verification and ATM support, plus real-time weather & navigation updates, GMDSS, and ship-to-shore advance repairs booking & supplies orders.

‘Broadband Maritime Conference 2009: New Communications Networking for Offshore & the High-Seas’ is the first in an annual series of events – organised by GVF and UK-EMP – adopting a comprehensive overview of the multiple segments, and multiple facets, of the maritime communications market as it inevitably and progressively occupies the satellite broadband space.

Three such facets are as follows.

• Key hardware technology development in the design and deployment of state-of-the-art stabilised satellite antennas which enable effective satellite tracking and maintenance of signal integrity as vessels pitch and roll, whilst maintaining constant reliability through robustness and rugged design against challenging weather conditions.

• New service provisioning, delivering “always on” broadband applications with QoS guarantees that go beyond basic “pay-by-the-minute” service types and which facilitate greater predictability in mission critical delivery, as well as accuracy in the calculation of the cost of communications and, therefore, improved corporate overheads budgeting.

• Access to applications and networks: meeting today’s imperative for constant, seamless and cost-effective connectivity to ensure optimised exploitation of physical maritime assets, maximised passenger satisfaction, maximised crew welfare, and optimised navigational safety.

Introduction to Conference Day One:
The morning of Day 1 of the conference will examine the overall maritime satellite communications market with a particular emphasis on the nature of current shifts in the demand for different types of applications. This will be followed by a more detailed profile of the satellite communications solution requirements of specific segments of the maritime market, together with an analysis of their respective economic significance. The development and introduction of new maritime satellite services in the Ku-band, in addition to those in other satellite frequency ranges, will be examined, as will new ranges of specific services offered by satellite operators and network providers spanning the narrowband and broadband space. The first of a series of market segment case studies – focusing on the Merchant segment – will investigate communications networking and fleet management for the bulk carrier, container ship, and tanker market. Inshore and high-seas satellite communications regulatory regimes will be analysed prior to presentation of a second market segment case study of the cruise passenger’s mobile and broadband requirement when in port and at sea. The following session will investigate the contribution of ICT in the data capture, analysis and reporting systems which support the industry’s standards compliance obligations of ship’s officers on behalf of vessel owners.

Introduction to Conference Day Two:
The morning session of Day 2 will open on the topic of ‘Maritime Information Collaborative Environments’ (MICE). More than a memorable acronym, M.I.C.E. refers to shared maritime information data sets, networked over IP-based satellite communications linking ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore, for the purposes of aggregating and analysing information generated from applications covering everything from SCADA and individual vessel tracking to vessel navigational communications and complex global fleet management operations. Further morning sessions will cover challenges and developments in the installation & maintenance of maritime satcoms terminal equipment, offer illustrations of the design parameters of maritime stabilised antennas, and look at the latest and planned GVF training initiatives for the installation market in the maritime sector.

The final afternoon of the conference will begin with a further market segment case study of the role of satellite communications in the short-range & medium-range ferry environment, and go on to examine safety and distress maritime communications systems. A final study – in the Ocean Resource segment – will be followed by a final session focusing on Weather Data Streams: real-time access & dissemination of local, regional & global information.


Marina Square

Additional Information

Further information is available from Martin Jarrold at or Paul Stahl at