Norwegian tanker specialist Knutsen has extended its contract with Marlink, ensuring that its fleet of 38 vessels and two planned newbuilds continues to enjoy high bandwidth, reliable global IP connectivity and voice calling on the cost-effective Sealink Premium VSAT service. Marlink’s popular Sealink VSAT features a Committed Information Rate (CIR), which ensures a minimum level of bandwidth is always accessible while also providing a faster Maximum Information Rate (MIR) when available. Based on its guaranteed level of service, Knutsen Group is exploring new ways to further digitalise its fleet of Shuttle Tankers, LNG carriers, and product and chemical tankers. A Marlink customer for 18 years and an early adopter of maritime VSAT in 2000, Knutsen has continuously developed its digital processes across its technically advanced fleet. Starting initially with on board/shoreside database replication and electronic forms/reporting, Knutsen leverages the speed, reliability and global coverage of Sealink VSAT to deliver high quality service to its clients through efficient vessel and logistics operations. Knutsen is also confident in the business case for providing high-end communication facilities for its crew members. The leading integrated shipping company has seen demand for crew bandwidth rise significantly since 2002 and has continuously challenged Marlink to ensure that its crew are satisfied with the communications facilities on board. The current on board configuration using 1 metre Ku-band antennas with back-up on L-band ensures that crew can always access social media, browse the Internet and talk to friends and family at home, while enabling high bandwidth and reliability for vessel and business applications, in addition to fleet management. “VSAT has been a standard on our fleet for a long time, but we continue to see new applications and demands with the ongoing digitisation happening within the maritime markets, which means we need a future proof solution to enable our own digitisation strategies,” said Nils Trones, Communication & Navigation Manager, Knutsen OAS Shipping. “We are reviewing new opportunities to improve our service to clients even further using Marlink’s digitalisation solutions that can help us to maximise our investment in communications.” Headquartered in Haugesund, Norway, Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers AS and Knutsen OAS Shipping AS is a fully integrated shipping company providing shipping operation, newbuilding supervision, chartering and project development in-house. Maintaining a high quality and technically advanced fleet, the company’s strong focus on health, safety, security, environment and quality is supported by its cooperation with Marlink, which ensures its vessels are always connected.