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Singtel to set a new benchmark in maritime education in Singapore and the region

Singtel, Singapore Maritime Academy and Globe Wireless open region's first Maritime Satellite Communications Centre

Singapore, 19 Oct 2007 – Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) today announced its collaboration with the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) of Singapore Polytechnic and Globe Wireless to set up a maritime satellite communications centre, called SatCom@SMA. 

The first of its kind in Asia Pacific, the facility is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment to demonstrate real-time broadband communications – between shipping vessels and their HQ offices on land – via satellite.  This is made possible with a ‘live’ Singtel

1.5-metre C-band stabilised satellite antenna* which has been installed on the rooftop of the Academy, creating a new icon in the Singapore Polytechnic campus.  Since its introduction into the market last year, this antenna has been commercially deployed on more than ten shipping vessels to date.

Mr Titus Yong, Singtel’s Vice President of Satellite, said:  “As Asia Pacific’s largest and most experienced satellite operator with more than 35 years behind us, Singtel is committed to developing and shaping the maritime industry.

“SatCom@SMA will enable students to learn about the latest in satellite communications technology and gain valuable practical experience to complement their classroom theory lessons.”

The half-a-million Singapore dollar SatCom@SMA is equipped with Singtel’s innovative maritime communication applications, as well as high-speed always-on broadband Internet connectivity via satellite.  Students can now have a firsthand experience of the innovative applications offered by Singtel that aid customers in the smooth running of a ship, helping them improve business productivity and their competitive edge.

Offered under the ‘@Singtel’ brand, these applications were developed in collaboration with Globe Wireless.  These include remote surveillance, real-time remote fleet monitoring, downloads of coloured weather forecast charts and also electronic submissions of regulatory forms such as Notice of Arrival and Departure (NOAD) at foreign ports.  (See Annex A for a description of Singtel’s satellite services.)

Mr Yong said that in the past, maritime communication was limited to low-speed or narrowband connectivity, which meant seafarers were essentially cut-off from the rest of the world if not for voice, fax and telex. 

“However, Singtel’s broadband satellite services have enabled a range of modern applications such as email, Internet access and VoIP calls.  We want to help the seafarers maintain close contact with friends and families even while at sea, offering them the same kind of user experience that they have at home.

“Crew welfare is critical in today’s context to attract and retain talent in the maritime sector – especially the next generation of seafarers who are better educated and more technology-savvy,” he said.

New course module on maritime satellite communications

SMA, Singtel, Globe Wireless and Inmarsat have also developed a brand new maritime satellite communications module to be included in SMA’s syllabus, which will be offered to both full-time and part-time students.  This module offers practical experience in the use of satellite communication systems and applications for ships.  Students will also undertake industrial training programmes on maritime business administration and development.

Thanks to Singtel satellite services, SMA can now also offer online distance e-learning.  Seafarers can then continue their academic studies even when they are at sea.  Students save valuable time, and are able to complete their studies sooner.  Interactive multimedia brings vitality to online learning programmes, which include courses like the Certificate of Competency (COC). 

Mr Yong said:  “We aim to accelerate innovation in the maritime sector by bringing together some of the biggest players in the industry.  I am pleased that Singtel is playing a key role in helping to rejuvenate the maritime industry.” 

 

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* Co-designed by Singtel, the world’s first 1.5m C-band stabilised satellite antenna enables sea-going vessels to enjoy significantly higher bandwidth (up to 6Mbps) than a traditional 2.4-metre C-band antenna.  The robust C-band antennas are not affected by poor weather.

 

Annex A

 

Description of Singtel’s satellite services:

Mail@Singtel

Mail@Singtel is an email software specially designed for maritime communications that has the capability to transmit over a small satellite bandwidth or over an “always-on” broadband connection. Mail@Singtel is built-in with functionality managed by shipping companies and ship captains for making email more secure and cost effective.

Locator@Singtel
Locator@Singtel provides immediate visual access of the position of the company’s fleet of vessels and displays the historical tracking of every ship’s movement. Locator@Singtel application gathers and displays the ship’s name, call sign, Universal time and date, exact latitude and longitude, heading and speed of the ship.

Weather@Singtel

Weather@Singtel application allows the vessels to download coloured weather forecast charts on-demand for different regions of the oceans. The key weather data includes surface pressure, wind speed and direction, fronts, sea surface temperature, currents, ice information, wave heights, gulf stream, swell conditions and tropical storm information.

GlobeForms for SingtelGlobeForms for Singtel is an application which is a simple yet power packed  that supports the operations of today’s ships that require large amounts of reports, form filling, data flow between ship and shore, and information storage such as crew data. Notice of Arrival & Departure (NOAD) forms from various port authorities are available to enable efficient ship and port operations with better security screening in place.

Voice-over-IP provides the capability for voice communication over internet to another VoIP user or to any GSM mobile phone users or fixed line telephone users. This new technology for voice communications provides shipping companies with substantial cost savings who have otherwise been used to paying high charges for voice calling from vessels.

GSM On-Board Vessels provides seamless connectivity via personal mobile phones to both passengers and crew onboard the cruise ships, ferries and other vessels worldwide. The solution enables cell phone coverage by installing and operating the ship-borne base station network, linking the vessel with public networks via the satellite. Separately, Maritime Communications Partner operates its mobile services via roaming agreements with cellular operators throughout the world.

Web browsing provides the vessels with access to ready information for business and home news. For the crew on-board the vessels, this is a strong selling point to recruit and retain the next generation of seafarers in today’s “Always Connected World”.


World conference services allow conferencing across geographical boundaries.

E-Surveillance capability is made possible with the integration of remote wireless IP video surveillance camera and maritime broadband solution. Shipping companies can have real-time view of the ship operations and more importantly better ability to cope with emergency needs such as Tele-medicine, detecting potential fires, or even lookout for piracy at sea.  Other areas include the capability to help the seafarers with remote assistance if the on-board crew is unable to cope with such emergencies.