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Plugging in marine-based industries

Communication, control and management of advanced operations via an offshore 4G mobile network is as relevant for fishing as it is for the petroleum sector.

Equinor began work in 2017 to enhance the efficiency of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) by shifting control from field to shore. That called for a high-speed connection between the ROV and its controllers. A fast fibre link already existed from platform to land, but solutions for platform-ROV access were missing.

In cooperation with Oceaneering and Telenor Marine, the idea of using the 4G network between base station and ROV mother ship was launched. This has been further refined to connect with an ROV garaged on the seabed via a buoy carrying a 4G LTE modem.

Model for ROV operations
Fast 4G LTE permits high-resolution video transmission and minimum delay in the image stream from ROV to controller – preconditions for secure remote operation.

This solution has provided the model for conducting ROV operations on oil fields. Several operators of such units are now offering corresponding systems with land-based control rooms. Oil service/technology companies expect to make significant savings and efficiency gains by not having to send personnel offshore.

Emissions, costs and time cut
Using this model cuts greenhouse gas emissions because fewer offshore service vessels are needed to support ROV operations. Reducing personnel requirements offshore also means less use of helicopters and thereby lower costs for employees, transport and communication.

The solution also saves time since several suppliers can do their work without sending people out to the field. Moreover, waiting time is cut and predictability improved since operations are less dependent on wind and weather.

Growing market

The market for controlling operations from land is growing. Telenor Maritime’s offshore mobile network has been operational since 2015, and serves such oil companies as Equinor, Aker BP, Lundin, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Vår Energi.

Control room

In addition, most rig contractors and a large number of supply-ship owners subscribe to the 4G LTE network. Telenor Maritime also ensures that all offshore workers have mobile coverage through their roaming agreements (more than 350). And fishing-vessel crews benefit from an offshore network too.

The company delivers global communication solutions to maritime and offshore-based enterprises. These include mobile coverage on ships, rigs and platforms as well as sea-shore communication based on VSAT, radio links and mobile broadband.

Telenor Maritime has a solid position in four segments at sea – ferries, cruise ships, offshore units and fishing vessels.

Telenor Maritime






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Tom Løwehr

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