A cargo vessel needs to sail back and forth between Germany and the UK every week. During these trips, the vessel not only needs to cross two borders, but also the North Sea and along the Rhine. To have a more constant network uptime, the vessel was looking for a cost effective maritime connectivity solution, so they approached Peplink’s certified distributor Frontier BV for help.
The biggest challenge facing the vessel is how to stay connected while passing through different countries and sailing across different waters. This means that disconnections while roaming are hard to avoid. To make matters worse, signals are weak when the vessel sails along the sparsely populated coastline and when it is further away from the shore.
On top of these, it is preferred to not include satellites in the solution as their involvement will lead to a much higher cost.
Taking these requirements into account, Frontier BV soon came up with a perfect solution for the vessel. A simple setup consisting of Peplink’s MAX Transit Duo, Maritime 40G antenna, and FusionHub would have them covered.
To begin with, a MAX Transit Duo was deployed on the vessel. The MAX Transit Duo is a dual-cellular router with redundant SIM slots. This SIM capacity allows for the concurrent activities of two connections from different carriers, each of which has another SIM as a backup.
When the router is connected to the FusionHub, a virtual appliance from Peplink, a SpeedFusion tunnel is formed, allowing for the implementation of Hot Failover. This patented technology enables the backup connections to take over when the primary ones fail so that connectivity is maintained.
Moreover, a Maritime 40G antenna was also installed to improve signal reception. The Maritime 40G antenna is a high-gain omnidirectional antenna specially designed for maritime applications. It is capable of utilizing four LTE/5G channels simultaneously and delivering excellent performance even in extreme weather conditions – thanks to its IP68 rated case.
This simple yet powerful setup tackled all of the challenges one by one.
The two active cellular connections enabled the vessel to have stable connectivity while crossing different countries. No more waiting caused by roaming – when one SIM is disconnected, the other one is already there. Meanwhile, the redundant SIMs provided a backup for the network, which further enhanced its reliability. These resulted in 100% uptime when the vessel was not crossing the North Sea.
Even when the vessel was sailing through the North Sea, the uptime never dropped below 75%, which was much higher than it used to be. The Maritime 40G antenna significantly improved signal reception so that the vessel was under network coverage for a further distance from shore.
The performance was impressive, and the costs were low. The hardware costs were lower than that of an electric bike, and it took less to buy the SIM cards than to refill a tank of gas for a car!
Thanks to Frontier BV’s solution, the crew and clients can now enjoy reliable connectivity onboard the vessel.
- Deployed to the vessel
- Dual embedded cellular modems and 2 redundant SIM slots
- Hot Failover automatically and seamlessly switches open session to working connection
- Omnidirectional antenna with wide frequency range
- 4 cellular channels and a GPS
- 4×4 MIMO provides solid reliability under heavy usage
- IP68 rated, durable and UV-stable case
- Established on AWS in between physical data centers and offices
- Enables SpeedFusion technologies
- Forms unbreakable VPN connections