• Satellite Evolution Group

IEC Telecom joins Thuraya for affordable digitalisation for all vessel types via new joint solution

Digitalised vessels have a competitive advantage when it comes to adapting to challenges and optimising business opportunities – but until now such benefits have been unavailable to smaller crafts.

Now, IEC Telecom has joined forces with Thuraya, the leading global satellite operator, to bring affordable quality satcom technology to smaller vessels that have limited onboard space with the cutting-edge Orion Edge V, which enables a VSAT-like communications experience over L-band with access to a cloud-based system offering a wide range of telecom services.

In preparation for the official launch to be held during this week’s virtual OSEA2020, Jassem Nasser, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Thuraya Telecommunications, said, “We are pleased to work with IEC Telecom to develop this connectivity solution which will be of significant benefit to an important marketplace. In these difficult times, flexibility is key. You need to be able to adapt quickly to business requirements with agile solutions. Orion Edge V operates using a combination of Thuraya’s Orion IP broadband and the MarineStar circuit-switch voice terminals, providing a compact connectivity digital solution that can easily be transferred to another vessel if needed.”

Incorporating IEC Telecom’s ground-breaking OneGate system into the pre-existing Orion Edge solution has brought communications to a new level with all telecom services now available via a virtual platform. ICT managers can monitor and control the network across all vessels of their fleet remotely via a user-friendly set of dashboards. New services, including telemedicine, videoconferencing, and remote maintenance, can be added on demand via IEC Telecom’s application store.

“Today we are experiencing a significantly higher demand for digital solutions in light of the new IMO regulations, which come into effect in January 2021 and require vessel operators to ensure the onboard cyber security of connected ships. I am delighted to announce that this level of virtualised digital connectivity, incorporating advanced cyber security features, is now available to smaller vessels,” said Nabil Ben Soussia, CEO Asia, Middle East & CIS, IEC Telecom Group.

He added: “For small ships, such as offshore support vessels, it is important to remain within tight budgetary requirements. This agile product gives you the confidence to be in control of costs while benefiting from all that is possible through digital communications now and for years to come. To support this market, IEC Telecom and Thuraya offer Orion Edge V with flexible tariff plans and an option of free hardware for project-based subscriptions, enabling fleet managers to get their vessel connected with zero capital investment in a short span of time. It’s a win-win and we are delighted to introduce Orion Edge V during this year’s virtual OSEA.”

Globally, the small boats sector has evolved steadily over recent years and is forecasted to grow at 7% by 2024 to become a $13.8 billion industry. The Asia-Pacific region has a proliferation of smaller vessels, particularly those supporting its growing offshore oil and gas sector. IEC Telecom and Thuraya have developed this advanced solution in response to the needs expressed by customers in the Asia Pacific region. Orion Edge V overcomes the challenges of going digital for smaller vessels.

Moreover, the worldwide march towards digitalisation is accelerating and has further increased pace since the Covid-19 pandemic as maritime sectors turned to digital solutions to overcome a range of logistical challenges that encompass ports, vessel surveys, supply chain matters, and crew communications. A recent study conducted by Ocean Insights revealed that 42% of businesses in the freight industry will change their supply chain strategies as a result of the pandemic with 67% regarding technology as the key to doing so.

With a digitalised world now inevitable, the digital economy has grown two and a half times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years. It is now worth $11.5 trillion globally, equivalent to 15.5 percent of the global GDP. The global digital transformation market is predicted to grow to USD 1,009.8 billion by 2025.

Mr Ben Soussia commented: “For maritime and offshore businesses, digital connectivity represents the future, and we are pleased to announce that the future is available now!”