ABB Marine & Ports has signed an application provider agreement with British satellite telecom firm Inmarsat to use its Internet of Things (IoT) platform for fleet management.

Both firms have agreed to support shipowners by addressing issues related to the adoption of IoT technology.

Last year, Inmarsat conducted a study with 125 shipowners. Approximately 51% said they are not able to receive ship data in real-time, which is one of the key obstructions in IoT adoption.

According to the master supply contract, ABB will work as a certified application provider for Fleet Data, the IoT platform developed by Inmarsat and Danelec Marine.

Fleet Data gathers data from sensors onboard and after pre-processing. The data is uploaded in a secure Cloud database.

The agreement will also enable ABB Marine & Ports to seamlessly integrate its own software with a database through the Fleet Data application programming interface (API). The integration will help to improve ship efficiency and safety.

Inmarsat Maritime business development vice-president Stefano Poli said: “As respective leaders in the field of mobile satellite communications and marine power, control and automation technologies, Inmarsat and ABB combine connectivity and enabling applications at a scale that can be truly transformative.

“As a digital enabler, Fleet Data can support a myriad of applications so it is no coincidence that Inmarsat has signed agreements with digital technology majors, as well as start-ups, intending to shake up the industry. Both groups recognise that developing a digital culture is about downloading and updating, not expensive ship visits and installation time.”

ABB Marine & Ports digital services vice-president Antto Shemeikka said: “Collaborative operations that put our cumulative engineering knowledge, leading-edge products and remote support at the disposal of those at sea and ashore are core to the ABB Marine & Ports Service offering across a wide range of vessel types.”

Last month, ABB received a contract from Singaporean shipyard Keppel Offshore & Marine to enable autonomous tug operation at the Port of Singapore by 2020.