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Thursday, July 9, 2020 

Shipping Company Groningen (SCG) has contracted offshore internet services provider Castor Marine to install its Global 4G Connectivity package on all 30 of its coastal vessels, enabling a fast, global 4G-LTE internet connection for its crews.

On its fleet, SCG offers its personnel a Crew Welfare Zone with free internet within the 12-mile (4G) zone. To achieve this, SCG wanted a plug-and-play, cost-efficient system that is always operational and does not interfere with the crew’s normal activities. A seamless transition between 4G and - when outside the 4G coverage zone - the Inmarsat Fleetbroadband (or Iridium Open Port L-Band satellite connection) was needed. Castor Marine’s 4G Connectivity Package (including dedicated software installed on the Peplink routers) ensures seamless connectivity between the 4G and satellite connection, with the transition invisible to the user. In addition, the connection allows for real-time data insights from any device.

Marc van Gemert, IT Manager, SCG, said: “We chose Castor Marine because of the pleasant cooperation, correct pricing and their responsive way of working which ensures that the technical solution we were looking for was customised to our fleet. Actually, some of our captains have already reported that they had 4G connectivity at 45 nautical miles from the coast. We are looking forward to see the system installed and then be able to forget about it.”

Raymon Lubbers, sales director, Castor Marine said: “With our system, you’ll never have to check if an internet connection is still running when it shouldn’t. The services and equipment we deliver have to work, always. Both as crewmember and in the office, you don’t notice these things until it doesn’t work. We strive, on every vessel, to never reach that point. That is why we have tested and certified the 4G solution extensively. It is also the reason our Support Network Operating Centre is on call 24/7.”

The software ensures that a VPN tunnel continues to exist even when the IP addresses change when the vessel connects to another network. With a mix of, amongst others, user rights, firewalls, SD-WAN and real-time monitoring tools for each individual data stream and access point, the user maintains full control.

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