7th Telaccount Athens Forum 2014


On Thursday 5th June, 2014, Telaccount Overseas held their 7th annual workshop with the title ‘Maritime communications with future vessel technologies’.

Capt. Theofanis Theofanous, Managing Director, BSH, Adonis Violaris, Managing Director of Telaccount Overseas

The Forum took place, for the first time, in Athens at the Ledra Hotel with great success. The Managing Director of Telaccount Overseas, Mr. Adonis Violaris, welcomed the participants of the forum. Station711 Mr. Kyle Hurst chaired the Forum and provided an overview of the history in communications, but also the latest developments of the industry.

The Forum had many interesting topics that outlined the fundamental concepts which could assist the participants in a better understanding of Satellite Technologies and the future needs on communications and IT on board vessels.

The first speaker was Mr. Alex van Knotsenborg, VP Sales EMEA Inmarsat Maritime, who said that “aligning the technological development within the maritime industry with time, we see that development was slow. It took literally thousands of years between a means to measure latitude versus longitude, giving the seafarer a true position on earth. With the Industrial revolution, shipping changed from sail to steam and from steam to diesel. On the electronic front, development accelerated with the introduction of radio and radar, and ships became more reliable and safer for crew to sail.

Ships were getting bigger and bigger, and computerisation accelerated the development bringing us into the Internet revolution. Inmarsat followed in the ’80ties, ’90ties, and the zero’s with Fleet Broadband in 2008. Computerisation brought us personal devices which seafarers bring on board. These devices are becoming a part of our life, on shore but also at sea.

The next revolution is the “Internet of Things” where Cisco expects 25 billion (!) devices to be connected to the internet in 2015. Early adopters in the maritime industry are starting to embrace this concept, where sensor information is collected on the vessel and brought ashore to make business decisions. Inmarsat’s answer and commitment to the Maritime Industrial Internet development is Global Xpress, providing an industrial grade global High Speed data network, specifically designed for (maritime) mobile users. The Service Enablement Platform, which forms an integral part of the Global Xpress, will allow partners and developers to build applications, feeding the Maritime Industrial Internet revolution.

In 2013 we talked about integrated networks on a ‘digital ship’. In 2020 we may have the ‘smart ship’ concept where we move into global maintenance and repair, remote monitoring, intelligent navigation technology, and advanced analytics & decision making. The industry is already discussing drone ships where Fleet Control Centres are more or less controlling ships. The Future is happening now”.

The Forum followed with the presentation of Mr. Roger Adamson, Chief Executive, Stark Moore Macmillan (SMM) and pointed out that “Regulation has historically been the prime driver for innovation within shipping and maritime, and there is no doubt that complying with future mandates—from emissions to noise reduction—are challenges which can increasingly only be met by the intelligent deployment of technology solutions. But for an industry considered to be operating ‘in the stone age’ by business analysts, the real opportunities, and threats, of the accelerating pace of global technological change to shipping and maritime companies have yet to be properly identified and addressed. Focussed on shipping’s technology-enabled future, Futurenautics bridges that gap, enabling shipping and maritime leaders and stakeholders to understand at a strategic level, the key trends which are shaping the future. From nanotechnology, 3D / additive printing, sensors and actuators, smart materials, and high throughput satellites, to M2M, the Cloud, big data, the Millennial generation, and the automation of knowledge work, Futurenautics delivers clarity and context, identifying how trends directly relate to and impact the shipping and commercial maritime world.”

Mr. Robert Kenworthy, CEO, H2O Satellite emphasised that “Traditionally, ships have been left to get on with the job of sailing the oceans and that was mostly because the communications link to them was slow and expensive. Things have changed, the pipe has got bigger and cheaper, so it is time to re-think how we communicate with our ships at sea. There has been a massive increase in data usage across shipping and some companies are treating their ships as remote offices, also some companies bring the Captain into management meetings using video conferencing.

We have embraced this change and produced packages to cater for the larger data usage. Packages such as our very powerful and flexible Automatic File Transfer called RAFT and our crew web browsing software package called ICE”.

Telaccount business partner Chartworld representative Mr. Stefanos Andreou (Sales Manager, Chartworld) introduced “Chartworld as a global leader since 2002 in providing digital chart solutions for marine application and through eSeries, a package of services, it’s revolutionalising the ECDIS market and making ECDIS implementation easy. eSeries is an ECDIS as a Service solution for shipping companies changing to ECDIS and paperless navigation.

ChartWorld specialises in ECDIS and its manufacturing eGlobe, a type approved ECDIS featuring a high quality 24 inch panel display. eGlobe comes with prefilled Admiralty world class ENCs. A plug and play cable is also provided for the installation of eGlobe and in case of any failures a new unit is sent on board and the exchange can be done by a crew member avoiding the need to send a service engineer. ChartWorld provides a complete navigation data service that also services data from the UKHO such as AVCS, AIO, ARCS, ADRS and ADLL plus a full range of ENCs from Primar and IC-ENC.

ChartBrowser is a chart selecting and chart ordering tool that has been developed by ChartWorld’s sister company Seven Seas and it makes importing or creating a rout, ordering and managing all types of nautical charts simple and easy. Chart Browser is easy to install on any type of PC or Laptop on board a vessel and in the office, it has a complete up to date catalogue of all available chart data ENCs, raster charts and also paper charts. ChartWorld also offers solutions for the crew training via eCert and its partners MSG for Generic training and Safebridge for Type Specific Training which is done with a CBT method”.

The Forum session continued with Telaccount’s new partner Mr. Joseph Efthymiadis (Manager, BusineSim) having said that “In the last 20 years our lives have changed completely thanks to telecommunication technology improvement and new innovations. These days each person considers telecommunication a priority and mobile phones / smart phones and tablets became an extension of the human body. For those who spend most of their time due to their work in deep waters, away from their families, friends, and homeland, it became more than a necessity to get informed about the daily happenings / news in their town and country, and listen to the voices of their relatives.

For those who need to communicate business matters, information cannot wait anymore. Heavy data exchanges became a must for security reasons. All these information exchanges require heavy DATA and VOICE. BusineSim is the international communication tool (197 countries) and is here to provide all in one (DATA (3G) + VOICE) at very low rates and in many occasions free of charge. Soon we will also be able to talk in deep sea at very low rates thanks to BusineSim”.

The last presenter was also a new Telaccount partner Capt. Goran Vidak (Director, MIC News). During different summits, forums, and conferences regarding communicationsto / from the vessels, respectable speakers are informing us about development of communication equipments, what advantages we should meet during the coming yearsetc. Discussions focus on what the next means of communication will be onboard the vessels, the Sentinet ships orthe Cyborg crew,however at the moment less than 10\% of the world fleets’ have some kind of Internet access on board, and this should be a warningfor us to draw attention to the possible lack of communication with seafarers in the 21st century.

By comparing life on boardin the past,at present and in the future,and by following more and more requirements, Maritime daily news servicecould be of significant importance for each involved parties, such as Owner, Manager, Chartererand definitely for crew on board too. MIC news provides a daily news service­ prepared by local correspondents in local language covering 35 different nationalities. As well as news forEnglish speaking countries, there are more English editions:International news,Maritime news and SundayNews on Board.

By using MIC news daily service, Owners with Internet access on boardcan obtain a significant financial benefit too,­ a simple calculation canprovehowto save720 hours(one month) on the internet per year per vessel.

Mr. Adonis Violaris (Managing Director, Telaccount Overseas) just before closing the forum gave an update on todays’ maritime satellite communication technologies, then the chairman ended the forum with some closing remarks. A marvelous lunch at the hotel’s restaurant followed for all the participants of the forum.

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