SoftBank and e5 Lab teamed to conduct trials using next-generation communication satellites to improve maritime broadband services, with the goal of developing remote-controlled ships.
Under a recently signed MoU, the companies aim to first conduct tests using existing communication satellites for backhaul from January 2020 to end-May 2020. The vessels will be equipped with flat antennas and local wireless stations.
Trials using next-generation communication satellites are planned for January 2021 to March 2022.
SoftBank and UK-based OneWeb, which forged a partnership in July 2019, will run communication tests using Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites and flat antennas. IoT devices will also be used onboard and tests conducted with the long-term view to remotely operate vessels from land.
Based on the results, the companies said they will study ways to commercialise marine broadband services using next-generation satellites.
e5 Lab develops electric vessels and is a joint venture between Mitsui OSK, Asahi Tanker and Mitsubishi.
In July, OneWeb Satellites took a key step towards delivering global connectivity via LEO birds, with the inauguration of a factory which will slash the time and costs involved in satellite manufacture.
OneWeb operates the satellite business in a joint venture with Airbus.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back