Sailing The High Seas: Using technology to avoid real-life and fictional disasters

Sailing The High Seas: Using technology to avoid real-life and fictional disasters
14 October 2020

Telecom26 provides IoT maritime connectivity services to yachts, fishing boats, cruise ships, tankers and cargo ships of all shapes, sizes and countries of origin.

We’ve been discussing movies about the high seas and how the outcomes could have been altered for the better if IoT maritime connectivity and nearshore maritime connectivity had been available on-board.

For better or worse, our top five list of fictional and real-life sea disasters that needed Telecom26:

Perfect Storm - In his quest for a good haul, George Clooney pushes too far out to sea. A tense thriller which doesn’t end well. 

Master and Commander - In 1805, the crew of a British Naval ship is ordered to track, capture or destroy a much-faster French ship which is in the Atlantic off South America.  Lots of drama with the ship becalmed for several days, the crew becoming restless and disorderly and superstition taking hold.

The Poseidon Adventure - On New Year’s Eve, the fictional SS Poseidon is overturned by a tsunami. Passengers and crew are trapped inside, and a small group of survivors decide to climb up to the ship’s bottom to save themselves.

Titanic - A feisty Kate Winslet finds freedom for herself but loses her man.

Jaws - a great white shark brings a seaside resort to a standstill.  The Police chief and a professional shark hunter go out to sea....

A different outcome, thanks to Telecom26’s maritime connectivity

Of course, none of the characters in these movies had the benefit of today’s modern electronic communications which enable nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity. 

Russell Crowe in Master and Commander would have been navigating using the stars, a rough map and the coast. A far cry from the options open to sailors these days with IoT and AI technologies enabling real-time monitoring of a boat’s position and condition. His crew would have been able to phone home and use the internet to keep themselves amused and connected.

Passengers and the crew on Poseidon would have been able to use their mobile phones to let the rescue team know they were alive - and share their location. Rather than making their way upwards to the bottom of the ship and having to confront all kinds of obstacles.

Titanic - apparently the two wireless towers capable of sending Morse code messages to nearby ships were a high-tech marvel practically unique to the ship. Unfortunately, iceberg spotting was carried out manually.

Today IoT can turn every ship into a smart ship which knows what’s around them with radar for detecting objects in the water.  

In Jaws, the police chief and shark hunter would have had phones to communicate when they needed help - and been able to put a tracker onto the shark so it’s location could always be pin-pointed.

But, sadly for George in his Perfect Storm, apart from being able to phone his nearest and dearest as the waves grew bigger, the only way we think we could have helped him would be with sensors to help him find fish nearer the coast.

From satellite to cellular to IoT

Of course, all our suggestions above rely on good connectivity. For years, satellite has been the mainstay for maritime connectivity - nearshore and offshore. Fact is, however, that most vessels spend the majority of their time in port or hugging the coast.  This means that it’s far more cost-effective to use existing cellular networks for nearshore maritime connectivity rather than satellite. 

However, the major problem with the cellular at sea approach has been that traditionally multiple SIMs have been required to ensure coverage throughout a vessel’s journey, especially when it’s travelling cross-border.

With the specific goal of improving connectivity at sea - and in remote landlocked areas around the world, Telecom26 developed its Multi-IMSI global SIM cards which are at the heart of our nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity services.

With just one of our SIMs the devices of sailors will automatically and seamlessly switch from one local network to another throughout their voyage.    

Telecom26 SIMs are compatible with 1100 cellular networks from over 620 mobile operators in more than 220 countries which means that wherever your sea legs take you, we’ll be connecting you all the way.

Smart boats:  communicating data from multiple on-board sensors

For vessels that have, or will have, multiple sensors tracking the condition of both the ship and its contents, a more sophisticated SIM solution is needed.

This is where Telecom26’s multi-SIM routers come in. These act as a single route into the on-board IoT network and, like our single global SIMs, can automatically switch between multiple cellular networks - and wifi, LANs and satellite - so that they always use the best available connected network.

With pay-as-you-go rates as low as €2 per GB, and data bundles of up to 2.5TB, Telecom26’s nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity service is now even more affordable - and optimised for ships and offshore infrastructure.

To learn more about Telecom26’s suite of nearshore maritime connectivity and global IoT maritime connectivity services plea

Telecom26 Maritime

Telecom26 is a full-service operator, with coverage to connect you in any maritime environment. As a full member operator of the GSMA, we provide cross-border and international water services for ships, crews, passengers and devices.
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