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Hybrid comms provides free internet on Stena Line

Stena Line has implemented a hybrid communications system from Marlink to provide improved free internet connectivity for passengers on seven ferries serving Norwegian, Swedish and Danish routes.

The CoastalRoam system is a specially developed addition to the Marlink Sealink customised VSAT services already in use aboard the ferries, integrating satellite, 3G and 4G for Norway, Sweden, Poland, Germany and Denmark.

The system is also capable of integrating other carrier technologies, such as Wi-Fi and WiMAX.

Whenever the vessels are within range, the public internet on board switches automatically to the fastest service available, using a lower cost carrier for free passenger connectivity.

The implementation of CoastalRoam follows a recent user trial, aboard the Stena Danica ferry, on its route between Sweden and Denmark.

Stena Line operates 20 routes with a fleet of 38 vessels including fast ferries (Stena HSS), traditional combi-ferries, RoPax ferries for freight and passengers, and RoRo ferries purely for freight in Scandinavia, the North Sea and the Irish Sea.

“Our goal is to make any voyage as comfortable and convenient for passengers as we can,” explains Calle Sedelius, IT support specialist, Stena IT.

“Internet connectivity is vital in this day and age but provision of free Wi-Fi on board for hundreds of users is very hard to achieve cost-effectively. With CoastalRoam, we are able to confidently offer the service and balance the cost versus the high levels of customer satisfaction we get from it.”

Stena Line says that it aims to continue the CoastalRoam roll out across more routes as soon as it can find telecom providers with satisfactory 3G and 4G coverage and competitive prices.

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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