The International Telecommunication Union estimates that 90 percent of the global population is now covered by a 2G mobile cellular network. (Half that, or 45 percent, is covered by 3G.)
But, of course, that global population is on land. If you’re out on the open seas, it’s a different story. Not surprisingly, the oceans are the last “white spot” for the mobile communication industry to connect.
Earlier this month, Maersk Line, the largest shipping company in the world, announced that it is taking steps to change all that. The company has appointed Ericsson to introduce end-to-end systems integration and deployment of mobile and satellite communication to the entire Maersk Line fleet.
More specifically, over the next two years Maersk Line will outfit 400 of its 500+ container vessels with Ericsson antennas and GSM base stations. Upgrades to the remaining vessels will be made soon after.
It’s an important step, because as Ericsson points out, mobile communication provides opportunities for the shipping industry to upgrade several essential processes. For example, until now, Maersk Line’s high-tech modern container ships have been equipped with satellite connectivity primarily intended to support communication for vital shipboard functions. But Ericsson says its new integrated maritime mobile and very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite solution will allow Maersk Line to better address: (more…)