Crew WiFi System

Self-funding Crew WiFi

Working alongside 4MS Networks in Aberdeen, we helped design and implement a WiFi solution for the crew on a working sea-going vessel in the North Sea. Reliability and ease-of-use were key for the proposed crew WiFi system, as it is the primary communications system that allows the vessel crew access to the outside world during their period at sea, which can be for up 12 weeks. From the operators perspective, the system also needed to be easy to manage and self-funding, which allowed us to design a list of system attributes to meet the demands of the crew and management.

WiFi Service Requirements

  • A user-friendly, reliable, and robust system

  • Bandwidth Management per user

  • Periodic reporting and Revenue management

  • Pre-configured hardware and simple to install

  • Self-Financing (crew pay for usage)

  • Warranty

  • 24/7 guest and staff technical support

  • Subscriber Account management

  • Cloud-based management systems

  • Clear and precise Installation Instructions

  • Integrated Firewall

  • Agreed supply and Install Frame Agreement

The Challenge

A key consideration was the connectivity required for an ocean-going vessel that would ensure a reliable system at any global location and often in extreme environments. To achieve this, the WiFi system design included an automatic satellite tracking system, providing seamless global IP connectivity. Dual-band Access Points (2.4/5GHz) were provided as standard to provide fast WiFi Access and futureproofing. A trial system was installed in advance of the full implementation program to allow us to obtain user feedback and adapt the design based on their comments.

Funding Model

The operational costs of the crew WiFi system needed to be self-funding and to meet this demand we investigated several different charging options. The crew members purchase blocks of data allowance when registering on the WiFi system. They can then log-on and manage their own accounts, view their data usage, and buy more data when they need it. And dependant on the system usage, the cost per MB data can be varied by the operator to ensure costs are simply covered (rather than being run as a profit centre). This way, the crew gets the maximum benefit of the onboard WiFi.

Installation Logistics

We prepared comprehensive installation instructions so that the IT engineering team could install the WiFi onto a vessel when it came into port. Due to the short turnaround times for some of the vessels when they dock, it was essential the installation process was quick and easy for the system and access points around the vessel.

Costing Model

Due to the different designs and sizes of vessels, a costing framework was produced for the operator to outline supply, installation, and operational costs. This allowed the vessel operator to call off a system as and when required, with the confidence that the system could be despatched and installed within a 14-day period.
Vital WiFi | Crew WiFi System

“Our partnership with Vital WiFi is extremely important to 4MS Networks. They share our focus on providing high-quality solutions coupled with excellent customer service. Their adaptability and a shared focus on giving our clients a great service has allowed us to scale the crew WiFi solution right across our energy industry client base.”

Find Out What We Can Do For You