On June 6, MOL, a major shipping company, announced that it had conducted a trial use of Starlink, a satellite communication service operated by the U.S. space company SpaceX (headquartered in Hawthorne, California) and provided through the Norwegian network solutions company Marlink (headquartered in Rysaker), on a MOL-operated ship. (headquartered in Rijsaker), a Norwegian network solution company.
According to the announcement, Starlink is a satellite communication service that uses low orbit satellites to provide high-speed and low latency connections. The company said that the use of Starlink on board vessels is expected to enhance safe navigation by sharing systems and data between ship and land in real time, and to dramatically improve the quality of life of seafarers by enabling them to communicate using high-speed communications even when they are not on duty on the ship.
MOL has conducted trials of Starlink on vessels engaged in international voyages operated by the company, and has confirmed an improvement in communication speed of up to 50 times that of conventional systems. MOL plans to continue trials on a number of vessels, and based on the results of these trials, the company plans to announce its vision for the future of shipboard operations and lifestyles that will be realized by improving the communication environment on board ships, and will continue to promote the introduction of Starlink on MOL Group-operated vessels.
Crew members on MOL trial vessels commented, "The nature of seafarers' work requires them to spend time far from home, and it is extremely important to improve internet access on board so that they can connect with family and friends in real time, even at sea, via video calls.
The MOL Group intends to improve the quality of life for seafarers on board and further promote digital transformation (DX) at sea by utilizing satellite communication services that enable high-speed and low-latency connections at sea, where the communication environment is significantly inferior to that on land.