Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), SoftBank and e5 Lab have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the use of a next-generation high-speed communication satellites offered by UK-based OneWeb to provide maritime broadband communications on vessels at sea. SoftBank and OneWeb are currently collaborating on the development of the OneWeb’s satellite communication services.
MOL, SoftBank, and e5 Lab will promote the “introduction of maritime broadband communications” and secure, safe and efficient “digitalisation of the maritime industry” by using OneWeb’s next-generation high-speed satellite communication service at sea, where communication infrastructure lags far behind what is available on land.
The three companies are planning to launch the following initiatives to introduce maritime broadband communication and digitalisation.
- Study of various use cases related to digitalisation of marine transportation (Period: October 2021 – September 2023)
- Study various use cases and effects of introductions related to the digitalisation of marine transportation, which will be realised by introducing the satellite broadband communications.
- Demonstration of satellite communication services by OneWeb (Period: April 2022 – March 2023)
- Conduct demonstrations using of OneWeb satellite communication services at sea by installing OneWeb’s satellite antennas on the Sunflower ferries, which are operated by a MOL subsidiary.
MOL, SoftBank, and e5 Lab will leverage their varied technological expertise and knowledge and foster the sustainable growth of the maritime shipping industry by using Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) solutions such as next-generation communication satellites and stratospheric communication platforms.