Knut Fjellheim, Chief Technology Innovation Officer, and Morten Aarvik, Sales Manager IoT & Digitalisation, at Telenor Maritime in Norway share their progress in the digitalisation of the maritime industry.
Since 2004, Telenor Maritime has been a dedicated maritime communications partner with unique telecoms and shipping competencies. We strive to connect our business partners to what matters most, enabling and enhancing digital data and communications at sea. Our ambition is to empower the maritime and offshore markets. We are committed to responsible business conduct and believe we can assist our partners and customers in their ambition to become even more sustainable through our services. In 2021 and beyond, we will continue to explore new ways of unlocking positive progress for our customers.
Identifying challenges and solving problems
A lot of data from on-board sensors and systems are stored on ships, but it is stored in separate, system-specific individual ‘silos’ that cannot be exchanged or shared between different systems. We are working on a digital ecosystem to harness the power of previously unconnected data. In the same way as you install an app on your phone, our digital ecosystem will enable third parties to design innovative new services that provide access to data shared with our maritime digital ecosystem. We are creating a platform that will allow data to be shared securely across service providers. Our platform will be an open environment where third parties can offer new products that leverage data for the benefit of efficiency, the environment, and your bottom line.
On a typical vessel today, several systems will be installed on-board, each having its own specific hardware, and all connected individually. When we gather and create a single, unified solution for on-board data and systems, a lot of products and services will suddenly become technically feasible, and many opportunities will arise from this. For example, during the pandemic, the cruise industry has had to install digital systems to a much greater extent than what was previously required. One example of this is being able to measure the body temperature of passengers and crew boarding a vessel, in combination with eye scanning for identification.
By opening-up data sharing and allowing other innovative companies to offer and create digital services to the marine industry, we can improve and transform in ways that have not yet been possible. Our marine digital ecosystem will enable you to use collected data locally on board the vessel. No longer are you limited to simply retrieving data from the ship and sending it to shore for analysis. Already on board, this data can be used for new digital services to automate manual work processes.
To unify, we have to be impartial
As leaders in maritime communications, we believe our role in the industry is to be impartial with regards to on-board systems. We sit on the same side as the shipowner. We are a neutral enabler, running an ecosystem that creates value through new digital services for all parties. Establishing our own on-board data-sharing platform sets both our company and our solution apart from our competitors. Not all data is going ashore, and we have a solid focus on the operational effectiveness of the system we install.
New and upcoming rules and regulations are pushing the need for digitalisation
Large companies come with class notifications demanding that you must be compliant with specific class requirements for your vessel to qualify as a digital ship. Our ecosystem will comply with these requirements. Our Unified Hosting System (UHS) facilitates opportunities to make services greener and more efficient, and at the same time, save money and time on operations. Suppose you want to stay ahead of new regulations from class societies and other government demands. An investment in UHS can be a crucial step in your company’s strategy towards a safer, greener and smarter future.
With UHS, classification companies like DNV GL, Lloyds and others, can perform remote surveys instead of travelling to ships and offshore installations. There will also be opportunities for equipment suppliers to carry out remote surveys, upgrades and remote installations. Loss prevention is also a possibility through insurance companies.
We build our innovation from experience
The knowledge, experience and technology we have developed for the cruise and ferry industry are directly transferable to other maritime sectors. We are a system supplier, an enabler in the digital shift for oil, gas and offshore. We also have solutions for offshore wind and fisheries.
Now we are introducing a new solution for a new market, the merchant fleet. Due to technological and topographic challenges, a full-fledged offer to the merchant fleet sector has been challenging to deliver. However, in November 2020, Telenor Maritime acquired 100% of the shares in Finnish technology company, KNL Networks (KNL). KNL has developed a unique system providing data access through a secure mesh network worldwide for maritime and critical communication markets. With this technology and Telenor Maritime’s expertise, the merchant fleet’s missing link is finally in place: a dedicated end-to-end channel for reliable, secure, and above all affordable access to business-critical information.
With this technology, we can offer an on-board data collection box that is easy to install without expensive cabling. Connecting sensors for monitoring functions is done wirelessly, and the savings for shipowners by avoiding cabling can be tens of thousands of dollars per ship. The collected data can be sent to the bridge or to shore via the system’s own HF-radio and associated mesh network. The data collected can be used for predictive maintenance, consumption monitoring, emissions, route selection and reporting on government requirements, giving the shipowner greater control, more streamlined operations and reduced costs.
Telenor Maritime is a forward-thinking and innovation-driven company and is technologically at the forefront of providing customers with the best solutions. We push maritime digitalisation forward to enable a greener, more sustainable future. Even though we are a high-tech company, the essential customer need we deliver on is trust. We prove our quality daily through availability and support, and systems working at high levels of uptime. Telenor Maritime has been a leading player in the market for 17 years; we are part of the global Telenor group, our company is growing, and we will be here innovating for our customers for years to come.
Please note, this article will also appear in the sixth edition of our quarterly publication.