Marlink has secured a contract to extend its smart hybrid network solutions with Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) internet service to the owned fleet of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Line).
Japanese shipowner, NYK Line, has been a Marlink customer since 2013 with Marlink providing hybrid network services for NYK’s huge fleet of containerships, bulk carriers and tankers, car carriers, Liquefied natural gas (LNG)/ Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and other specialised cargo ships.
Following the successful assessment of Starlink on two vessels in 2022, NYK Line contracted Marlink to integrate and manage the LEO services as part of its smart hybrid network and to roll out the solution across the fleet.
NYK Line will reportedly utilise the Starlink service alongside the existing high capacity VSAT provided by Marlink on its fleet of owned vessels, focusing the additional bandwidth on crew communications and welfare services.
Marlink VSAT will continue to provide the primary business communications channel with L-band back-up.
Network management onboard includes Marlink’s XChange platform ensuring guaranteed connectivity levels to run business and crew applications with as high Quality of Service as possible.
“NYK recognises the importance of enhancing communications and welfare services for both our existing crew and in attracting and retaining the next generation of seafarers to our fleet,” said Hisaya Higuchi, Managing Executive Officer, NYK.
“Drawing upon Marlink’s industry-leading experience in managing the integration of Starlink services into an existing network, we will be able to enhance the quality of life at sea for our seafarers while continuing to enjoy seamless VSAT services for business needs.”
Tore Morten Olsen, President, Maritime, Marlink, said: “Our partnership with NYK has allowed us to support their initial assessment of Starlink and now to act as integrator for a solution that will deliver dramatic improvements to crew welfare services.
“This agreement builds upon our existing relationship and once again demonstrates Marlink’s track record with helping vessel operators adopt this innovative solution and make it a reality for seafarers,” Olsen added.
This contract extension occurs on the same week that NYK agreed to joined JSE Ocean, Ltd. (JSE Ocean), a subsidiary of JSE.
Earlier this summer, Marlink, a digital solutions provider, is assisting Japanese shipping operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) in assessing the impact of LEO Internet services on business sustainability and crew wellbeing.