The future of smart connectivity in maritime

Nabil Ben Soussia, vice president – Maritime, IEC Telecom Group looks at maritime trends for the future
Nabil Ben Soussia, Vice President – Maritime, IEC Telecom Group
Nabil Ben Soussia, Vice President – Maritime, IEC Telecom Group

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The fast pace growth of the maritime industry will continue to have an enormous impact on maritime service providers. Revenue’s projected for maritime service providers is estimated to exceed $2.5 billion by 2025, largely driven by the increased demand for on-board connectivity. The maritime industry can expect to see the new trends emerge in smart connectivity.

Trend 1
IoT will dominate the market 

With the rapid adoption of IoT connectivity, comes a slew of new data-based revenue opportunities for the maritime industry. With IoT, day-to-day operations at sea, at port and as part of a wider logistics network can be streamlined. Issues can be pinpointed, downtime can be reduced, and processes can be simplified, changing the face of the industry.  

Trend 2
Autonomous ships a future reality

Autonomous ships can help eliminate human error, reduce crew costs, enable space efficiencies in ship design and use of fuel. More importantly, this concept can improve the transportation of goods at sea, chartering of vessels and more. Issues concerning liability will need to be considered and dealt with in a number of areas. This includes the concept of duty of care with respect to collisions, salvage operations, limitations of liability for maritime claims amongst others. Undoubtedly, this concept will continue gaining popularity, however the  professional community will need to make sure that all these areas are covered and addressed.

Trend 3
VSAT technology continues to gain popularity
An increased traffic across shipping routes is expected as marine activities pick up pace. More so, 50,000 merchant ships alone will cross the oceans daily with millions of cargo containers in tow, signalling the need for fast and efficient communications aboard vessels and between land and sea. The appetite for enriched content from seafarers, crew and passengers will spike the growth of VSAT technology with the total service revenue for VSAT expected to exceed $2 billion by 2025.

Trend 4
Adoption of remote monitoring

Remote monitoring strategies are recommended to avoid costly system shutdowns. This can also improve the efficiency of maintenance operations. With remote monitoring it is now possible to take data readings at set intervals and transfer this data back to head offices. Moreover, solutions with Augmented Reality (AR) enable offsite experts to guide onsite technicians.

Trend 5
Increased cyber security measures

With the increase in connectivity at sea, the vulnerabilities to cyber threats will also increase. Some cyber-attacks cost the maritime industry hundreds of millions of dollars. It is recommended that the industry implements stronger cyber security measures to manage risk and potential loss. Eliminate cyber threats with proper security processes, increase education on cyberthreat and place adequate IT & security policies where needed.

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