Elcome International completes satcom switchover for LNG tanker fleet
Elcome International has completed a satellite communication retrofit program for a major fleet of LNG tankers providing broadband data and voice services.
“Our team decommissioned the existing VSAT systems and installed new SAILOR 900 antennas and below-deck systems on 40 ships within four months. Most of the installations were performed at sea, and the others were made at ports in eight different countries,” said Jimmy Grewal, executive director of Dubai-based Elcome International. “Careful planning and prestaging equipment and manpower ahead of the ships’ port call enabled us to meet the customer’s requirement for a fast turnaround without disrupting the ships’ sailing schedules.”
The scope of work included system design, site survey, system integration, hardware and software installation, commissioning, training, project management and airtime for the ships’ VSAT, Fleet Broadband and Inmarsat-C systems. In addition, Elcome is managing worldwide shipboard service for the fleet. To that end, Elcome has established a network operations centre at its Dubai headquarters for first-line customer support and will also provide shore-based maintenance under a separate yearly contract.
Elcome has created three independent networks on each ship for corporate traffic, crew welfare voice and internet connections, and machine-to-machine data transfer of performance data from shipboard sensors. Elcome’s maritime internet solution provides dynamic allocation of specific data quotas to crew members for efficient control and management of airtime.
The fleetwide retrofit solution was developed in conjunction with satellite service provider Global Eagle and VSAT antenna manufacturer Cobham SATCOM.
Global Eagle is a leading supplier of satellite connectivity and media content to more than 1,600 ships worldwide. “The collaboration with Elcome was crucial during the implementation phase and was key to the success of the project,” said Rainier Abreu, senior director of commercial shipping and oil and gas for Global Eagle. “The partnership with Elcome is a critical element in Global Eagle’s strategy to develop the Middle East and Asia region in the SatCap market.”
Cobham SATCOM’s advanced maritime stabilised Ku-band SAILOR VSAT antennas were chosen for the project based on their fast installation and integration, consistent user experience and proven reliability in all conditions. Cobham SATCOM’s global support and logistics network were also critical to Elcome in meeting the customer’s three-day turnaround requirement for vessel installations.
“Elcome and Global Eagle are long-time Cobham SATCOM partners, and projects like this exemplify why these relationships continue to evolve in positive directions,” said Matt Galston, senior director of maritime product management at Cobham SATCOM. “Global fleets are adopting new, enterprise-grade communications solutions at a record pace, challenging service providers and integrators to keep up with demand. That Elcome successfully executed fleetwide rollout of this comprehensive solution so quickly demonstrates the SAILOR portfolio’s ability to accelerate Return on Investment for the end customer while providing a unified, consistent IT platform on which to build a modern digital infrastructure on board.”