Telenor to attack the commercial satcoms market

2021-03-26T23:31:48+00:00 March 26th, 2021|Technology|

Telenor Maritime’s new platform can help facilitate the digitalisation of the shipping industry.

This can be achieved with secure, reliable and cost-effective sharing of data right across the globe, CEO Lars Erik Lunøe (pictured) said.

The company, founded as MCP in 2002, before being bought by Norway’s Telenor (a mobile operator with 180 mill global customers) in 2006, is primarily known for delivering mobile services for cruise and ferry vessels, as well as building and operating offshore 4G networks connecting the energy industry.

Today, it boasts contracts with over 100 shipowners, covering more than 500 vessels and connecting 25 mill passengers.

However, Lunøe, is keen to expand into the traditional commercial fleet, where the business will deliver not just calls and online demands but “data and digitalisation”.

“Shipping has been slow to embrace the benefits of digitalisation when compared to onshore industries,” he explained. “That’s definitely changing now, with shipowners and operators keen to start utilising data. However, the problem is – a) they’re not always sure what for and b) they lack the infrastructure to enable the sharing of data across fleets, assets and organisations. We’re working to address that now.”

Environmental awareness is climbing higher on the public and industry agenda, Lunøe noted, while commercial pressures, heightened for many by the ramifications of the global pandemic, are exerting an ever-tighter grip on individual owners. A more effective approach to data can ease the pressure on both these fronts, he said, delivering benefits for stakeholders across the shipping spectrum.

“We’re exhibiting at the Blue Economy Hall at Nor-Shipping 2022,” Lunøe said, “which is focused on enabling commercial opportunity through responsible use of resources and environmental care. That concept of the ‘blue economy’ is at the heart of sustainable shipping and our strategy – we see commercial and environmental success as intrinsically linked.

“If we can provide the platform for shipowners to collect, share and use data in a smarter, more ‘joined-up’ way we can help them with some of the major challenges they face. For example, collecting, comparing and analysing engine and fuel consumption data across fleets will deliver the understanding to optimise energy use, control costs and reduce emissions.

“More effective tracking of vessels will provide greater security, control and ensure that individual assets deliver in accordance with customer agreements and KPIs,” he said.

Satellites have traditionally been seen as the solution for enabling remote, deepsea connections, but this comes at a price. That is fine, the Telenor Maritime CEO said, for cruise ship operators that generate income from their passengers’ digital lifestyles, but not so feasible for a drybulk vessel operating on wafer thin margins.

With the purchase of Finnish-based KNL Networks in December last year, Telenor Maritime believed it can now fill that gap in the market.