Marlink, the smart network solutions company, and OneWeb, the global space-based communications company, have announced plans to conduct the first at-sea trial of OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) maritime service.
Marlink’s 30 years of technical experience in developing and managing high-quality broadband services for the maritime sector makes them the ideal partner for OneWeb, contributing expertise and know-how in cooperation with OneWeb and its technology partners to trial the service and integrate it into Marlink’s hybrid smart network solutions portfolio.
The maritime trial is a significant milestone for OneWeb, as it leverages its LEO constellation to revolutionize connectivity at sea, delivering a high-speed, low-latency, and globally consistent experience to all maritime users – even in the most remote sea lanes and maritime communities.
The initial integration and evaluation will take place at Marlink’s Eik teleport (Norway), with installation and an on-vessel trial scheduled for Q4 2022. In cooperation with hardware providers Intellian and Hughes Network Systems, Marlink will carry out tests of the OneWeb maritime service, validating throughput, latency, and quality. Testing of hardware will include a review of stability, signal tracking, and handover capability.
This represents the first "at sea" maritime trial on OneWeb’s maritime satellite service and includes an evaluation of the new user terminal created by Intellian with a core module from Hughes Network Systems. The user terminal has been specially designed for the extremes of the maritime environment. It is capable of performing very fast handovers between satellites passing overhead.
Marlink and OneWeb announced in January 2022 their intention to collaborate to bring the new LEO service to their customer base onshore and offshore. As an early OneWeb partner, Marlink will integrate OneWeb’s LEO service into its global, industry-leading smart hybrid network solutions alongside GEO, MEO, and 4G/5G services to serve its large commercial maritime and offshore markets.
OneWeb is making significant progress in building its constellation and currently has 428 satellites in low earth orbit, representing almost 70% of its planned fleet. It plans to offer commercial maritime service from January 2023, already delivering high-speed connectivity to hundreds of customers in remote communities in Alaska, Canada, the Nordics, and the North Sea.
Launches will continue during 2022–2023 to enable the company to offer flexible, reliable, and secure connectivity services globally from the end of 2023.
“Marlink is a managed service provider of hybrid network solutions across all frequencies and orbits with customers in all verticals. Marlink has the right expertise and capabilities to help OneWeb prepare its service for the maritime market," said Tore Morten Olsen, President, of Maritime, Marlink. We believe that OneWeb will be a valuable addition to the Marlink smart network solutions portfolio, providing further choices for our customers with new LEO services.
“OneWeb's LEO service will bring a completely new kind of connectivity to maritime users, providing a high level of quality and performance that will deliver a richer, more immersive, and terrestrial-like user experiences onboard ships," said Carole Plessy, Vice President of Europe and Maritime. This is a watershed moment for the maritime connectivity market. Together with our trusted partner Marlink, the testing and evaluation will ensure that we have a fully robust and reliable service in place when commercial operations begin.
Click here to learn more about Marlink’s hybrid smart network solutions portfolio.