MOL completes sea trials of SpaceX’s Starlink internet service Ship’s crew

Japanese shipping company MOL has completed sea trials of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet aboard one of its ships.

The trial was conducted aboard a MOL-operated car transporter and confirmed speeds up to 50 times faster than traditional satellite-based broadband services.

Connectivity at sea can go a long way in boosting crew morale. Last year, an International Labor Organization (ILO) committee passed new amendments to the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC 2006) aimed at improving seafarers’ living and working conditions. Among them was an amendment that includes the right to mandatory social connectivity for crews, including internet access

The Starlink service can provide seafarers with the same level of connectivity as on land, including access to movies, television and video calls. Greater bandwidth also has major implications for adopting new technologies, including AI and remote-controlled systems.

“Seafarers’ work requires them to spend time away from home and it is extremely important to have improved internet connectivity on board so that we can connect with family and friends via video calls in real time, even while we are are at sea,” said a crew member on board the test ship.

MOL said it will continue trials on several ships with the intention of rolling out the service on MOL-operated ships.


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