[Video] Offshore connectivity explained

By Dudy Cohen 7 min read

Offshore broadband, low latency connectivity is becoming extremely important. It allows offshore crews to stay connected, informed and entertained and therefore increases crew retention. It also allows significant cost reduction via remote operations and monitoring of offshore equipment and facilities.


Offshore Connectivity full transcript: 

Hi and welcome to the Backhaul Lounge. Hi Thomas. This is a special episode of the Backhaul Lounge because we have Thomas with us. Thomas, how are you?

Hi Dudy, I'm good, how about you?

Good, good. Keeping busy. You know. Thomas today we're going to talk about offshore connectivity. And the first question is, what do we need offshore connectivity for?

It is a good question Dudy, but I'm guessing that the people offshore want to stay in touch
with their families, their loved ones. So for people that are living on the oil platforms, they go offshore for weeks in a row and they definitely want to make sure that they can talk to their spouses and their kids. And on top of that, you also have the oil companies that want to make sure that they get the data on how the production is going in real-time, preferably. And get as close to real-time as possible in order to operate om shore and also get all the statistics on the data.

So I understand it's both a matter of keeping the people offshore happy and satisfied and performing operational tasks offshore remotely, right?

Yeah, and that's 100% correct. And I think with Covid, it made it even more obvious to the oil operators that they want to do this. And therefore we see an acceleration in the demand of getting more throughput and low latency communications to the assets offshore.

Thomas, this is very, very interesting. Could you tell us what are the alternatives we have today for connecting offshore platforms?

The traditional alternative has always been satellite and satellite is inherently suffering from two things. First of all, the bandwidth and secondly, which is the most important thing for the operational side, and that is the latency. So a typical satellite link will have, say, best case scenario, like four hundred millisecond latency, up to 600 millisecond latency, which means that real-time operation, is not something that you can conduct over such a link.

It's also a matter of capacity. Right? And you need much more capacity today than you used to.
Why is that?

Again, and both the operational data follow the trend of everything else. Right. So it's more data that is needed to be transferred. And also the sort of video calls also demand a lot of data, right.
Like we're doing right now. We're doing video and that is requiring bandwidth.

Thomas, can you tell us about the Ceragon solution for offshore connectivity? Because it's much more than a simple microwave link because you have one side of the link floating and changing position. It's complicated.

Yeah, you're 100 percent correct. So the solution that is unique to us is that we actually have a stabilized solution, meaning that you have a Radome that is counteracting on the movement of this asset that it's mounted on in order to make sure that you got perfect alignment all the time.
So it's a very stable solution haha, no pun intended, but it's stabilizing the movement of the platform or the vessel as it moves along. Right? So these things are not just for the oil platform, you can also move it and we'll use it for other types of moving vessels, like we've done it for ferries, we've done it for fish farms.

So it's a very versatile solution and comes in different sizes. Thomas, you also mentioned fish farms and it puzzles me a bit because, you know, fish do not consume video content. Why do you need broadband to fish farms?

Oh, it's a very interesting application because today what the fish farms are doing is, again, they are trying to improve their productivity and lower their cost. So therefore, they actually have high-definition video cameras that is monitoring the fish, how the fish looks like and when it's eating so they can stop feeding when the fish stop eating. So that saves them money, but it also has an environmental impact by it, meaning that they will not pollute. Because if you overfeed, you get more of the food into the water, which means that you actually pollute the water and you get other undesired effects of plankton growing and so forth.

So Thomas if I try to summarize the essence of the value we bring to those type of customers, so it's one, keeping the crews offshore happy and maintaining crew retention and second, promoting their business by enabling offshore operations done from onshore so they save a lot of money, right?

Yes, Dudy, I would definitely agree to that. So I think you sort of capture both the essence of why you need high-speed communication to these assets on both the actual welfare and also on the operational side by providing more bandwidth. So I think with that, we give our customers a much better service and they are happy to replace their old satellite links with their microwave links.

Excellent. This was very interesting. Thomas, thank you for joining us remotely and thank you for watching The Backhaul Lounge. Stay tuned for our next episode.

Thank you. It was my pleasure. And I look forward to meet you again very soon in the near future.

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