Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched the maritime communication services at Mumbai on 13 September.

  • He said that Maritime Connectivity will enable high-end support to those in the sea by providing access to Voice, Data and Video services while traveling on sailing vessels, cruise liners, ships in India, using satellite technology.
  • Nelco, India’s leading VSAT solutions provider is the first Indian company that will now provide quality broadband services to the maritime sector.
  • .In December 2018, the Government of India announced the licenses for In-flight and Maritime Communications (IFMC) that allows voice and internet services while flying over the Indian skies and sailing in Indian waters, both for international and Indian aircraft and vessels.
  • The IFMC license has not only enabled connectivity for onboard users on ships but also brings operational efficiencies for shipping companies which were less evolved until now.
  • The IFMC license is a key initiative of the Telecom Ministry, a move to liberalize satellite communication services in India.
STATIC Maritime Communication
  • Marine communication involves ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication.
  • Over the years, the ways in which seamen communicate has changed drastically.
  • Earlier, semaphores and flags used to be the primary means of communication.
  • Then came Radio and ships began outfitting vessels with radios so that could communicate distress signals between other ships, as well as to those onshore.
  • After the Morse code, IMO developed ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication.
  • At this point, a radio officer was no longer necessary to keep watch at all hours of the day and night and marine communication was done through the use of onboard systems via shore stations and satellites.
  • Development of VHF(Very high frequency) radio was useful in making a ship to ship communication and Digital Selective Calling (DSC) led to the growth of communication capabilities including remote control commands that could transmit and receive distress signals, place urgent safety calls, and put out routine messages.
  • Today both DSC and VHF radio are used together to provide seamless maritime communication.
Maritime Communication Services Benefits of Improved Maritime Communication services
  • Better coordination- Maritime communication ensures better coordination between ships.
  • Greater safety of ships- An effective communication system allows for better coordination between the ships which in turn leads to greater safety of ships. In the case of maritime accidents, this efficient system will allow rapid information exchange which will help to reach the ship in trouble sooner.
  • Improved trade- Better maritime communication can contribute to improvement in the scope of trade globally. The shared information about cargo in ships, ships leaving from various ports, ships scheduling etc.can help ships in communicating better and improving trade.
  • Sharing information and experiences- There is not only an exchange of knowledge but also of valuable experience through maritime communication. This will set examples for mariners to learn from other mariners experiences, how they handled accidents etc. and help them to handle such accidents in the future.
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