Norway-based maritime technology provider MARIS and Orange Business Services, a global IT and communications services provider, have entered into an agreement to offer electronic chart display information systems (ECDIS) and maritime digital services directly to navigators through the multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network.
The partnership will deliver the Current At Sea system, which aims to unlock the potential of integrated, paperless maritime navigation and allow the management of vessel operations through up-to-date digital chart information.
Current At Sea, a combination of the Orange Business Services VSAT service with the MARIS ECDIS, provides navigators with a way to meet the International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirement of equipping ECDIS on all existing and newly-built ships before the 2018 deadline.
Orange Business Services currently manages over 3,400 very small aperture terminals (VSAT) deployed on land in 104 countries and on board vessels at sea, as well as through FleetBroadband, a maritime voice and broadband data service from Inmarsat.
With the help of the network, the company offers connectivity to vessels at sea offering corporate communications solutions such as enterprise-grade voice, IP Telephony, network optimisation, M2M and video conferencing.
Current At Sea launched in 2012, and was claimed to be the first VSAT system/dual ECDIS technology with a fixed monthly rate.
The new system also integrates MARIS Voyage Decision Support (VDS), which identifies weather and current data to determine safe, as well as cost and time-effective voyage routes, providing fuel savings of 4%-8%.
MARIS deputy chief executive Steinar Gundersen said the system does not need capital outlay as it pays for itself through faster voyage routes and lower fuel usage.
"The combination of MARIS ECDIS and Orange VSAT technology creates a powerful tool in compliance with IMO ECDIS regulatory requirements that delivers voyage optimisation, greatly increased safety and major cost savings in an attractive ‘pay-per-month’ package," Gundersen said.
The system also enables vessels to bypass the public Internet when accessing corporate systems and connect using a secure, real-time connection to business-critical applications.