Ship operators will have access to artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, edge computing, and cloud-based solutions, thanks to Singtel’s addition of Starlink connectivity to its maritime digital offerings last week.
Access to enhanced connectivity and low latency capabilities allows ship operators to analyse data in real-time, which promises to increase productivity and reduce costs of fuel consumption and operational maintenance.
Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite Internet service, is the first low Earth orbit (LEO) addition to Singtel’s portfolio of digital smart solutions for vessels known as iSHIP.
Starlink complements Singtel’s existing suite of satellite communication solutions, featuring the Paragon platform— Singtel’s all-in-one orchestration platform for 5G edge computing and cloud services.
This platform will manage and automate the smart switching between satellite communication services to ensure uninterrupted network coverage as ships navigate long distances, including remote locations and under challenging conditions.
The maritime industry is a complex, interconnected environment that involves transmitting large volumes of data between thousands of terminals, ships, and ports across the world, said Bill Chang, the chief executive officer of Singtel Digital InfraCo.
“We have seen growing demands for faster, more resilient, and low latency connectivity as the industry starts to embrace digital transformation,” he noted.
The addition of Starlink to Singtel’s existing suite of satellite communications solutions is “part of our multi-orbit strategy to increase the resilience of satellite connectivity in the industry and to enable the rapid adoption of digital technologies and solutions,” he added.
With over 5,000 satellites, Starlink is capable of delivering up to 220Mbps downloads, as well as being accessible in challenging conditions with operating temperatures from -30 deg C to 50 deg C with its flat high-performance kit.
The system’s small form factor, simple installation process and efficient power consumption promises easy integration and energy efficiencies for ships of all sizes, and is expected to support fleet management, remote monitoring, and navigation.
Starlink is currently the only player in the Southeast Asia that features a multi-band satellite network, including both LEO and geostationary orbit (GEO), aimed at allowing ships and crew to stay connected even in demanding maritime conditions.
While Singtel is the first telecom opeator in Singapore to offer Starlink services, there are other carriers in the region working with Starlink. Japan’s KDDI, Australia’s Singtel Optus, and New Zealand-based One New Zealand Group also provide Starlink-powered connectivity to subscribers.