SLOMAN NEPTUN combines dual Starlinks with VSAT for the ultimate hybrid connectivity setup

Feb 16, 2024 | Top News

Bremen based SLOMAN NEPTUN operates a modern fleet of 19 tankers and dry cargo vessels and the company has begun rolling out dual Starlink antennas across its ships with Navarino. Ingo Wenske, IT Admin, and Eckhard Bartkowski, Head of IT, who are overseeing the project explained the thinking behind their new setup –

‘We have chosen Starlink because we really wanted to upgrade the connectivity available onboard our fleet. In tests, we found that with a single antenna, there were occasional signal drops either because of the vessel’s course, or due to obstructions. This is why we have decided to adopt a dual antenna approach with Starlink, in order to minimize such disruptions and to provide high speed, low latency connectivity as seamlessly as possible. We also have VSAT installed, which will now act as a backup system for us.

We are looking forward to the new possibilities that Starlink can offer for both our business and crew welfare operations. In the past, using VSAT we found that it could often be difficult to effectively synchronize onboard business applications because of the lower speed and higher latency of VSAT. Now, with Starlink this becomes much more feasible and its high speeds mean that we can effectively treat our vessels as a true extension of our office – for example we are also going to begin using Microsoft Teams for video calling with our fleet over the Starlink connection, something which really wasn’t possible before with VSAT only. We have already had very positive feedback from our shore based IT teams who are really happy with the functionality that Starlink provides, as it makes remote access both to and from the vessel very smooth and seamless, which is a major upgrade to the way they work.

Having said that, we do consider that keeping the VSAT in combination with Starlink is very important. For example there are areas our vessels visit around the world that Starlink is not approved for usage and so having a fall back system like the VSAT is crucial to ensure that business and crew connectivity can continue to function.’

Frieder Voelsen, Account Manager for Navarino Germany added ‘We are very proud to be working with SLOMAN NEPTUN on this project. Combining dual Starlink antennas with VSAT is the ultimate connectivity approach and we are delighted that they have put their trust in Navarino to deliver the high speed, low latency connectivity of Starlink. I look forward to supporting and working closely with them for many years to come.’