Marine vessels, ships, facilities and oil and gas platforms are notorious for constantly being in harsh and unstable environment that conventional communication methods are neither available nor economically feasible. Unpredictable offshore weather and environmental situations combined with isolated and remote locations mean that communication lines are all the more important for monitoring and management of sailing fleet and maintaining the safety of the crew and the passengers.
However, cellular phones aren’t considered as an effective method for regular maritime radio distress and safety systems due to its limitations.
Cellular Phone Limitations in Maritime Industry
- Most cellphones are designed for land-based services. The off-shore coverage is limited and unstable.
- Most local networks in Singapore charge very high rates for overseas calls.
- Locating the cellular caller is quite difficult. If a mariner does not know his exact position, the Coast Guard or the maritime company’s land-based office may encounter difficulty in locating the caller.
- Cellular phones do not always guarantee successful and on-time alerts. Mariners need to ensure that they are able to send or receive alerts—whether emergency or not—to and from rescue centers ashore and nearby sailing ships anywhere in the world.
- Staff and crew need to stay in touch with their family to ensure better quality of life and work performance on board. Cellular phones don’t always provide constant communication, since most telecom companies in Singapore—as well as other countries in the world—only provide land-based service.
How VoIP can Help Maritime Communications
- The voice calling function of VoIP PBX helps on-board crew members to stay in touch with their family and keep in contact with the company’s land-based offices. Through the internet, crew members can stay connected with people back home and anywhere in the world, whether it is personal or professional purposes.
- Many of today’s VoIP phones are made especially for maritime and industrial uses, which are both weather- and seawater-proof. These marine Ethernet IP phones are extremely robust, enabling them to operate in industrial environment and in exposed marine areas where grime, water and dust can quickly become a problem.
- Since voice calling is done over the internet, VoIP PBX is expected to reduce your monthly telephone costs of up to 90% on overseas calls every month. Many businesses and establishments switch to IP PBX for two reasons: first is the specific need to cut telephone costs, especially that free services like Skype become more prevalent in the business industry; and second the need to cut overall operational costs, in which case everything under the IT domain would be fair.
- VoIP also helps get GPS location and navigation much faster than regular communication lines. Therefore, IP PBX system does not only help people and business establishments stay connected, but also help mariners look for ways to save their lives from potential danger. Anyone working underwater is benefitted with special marine communication through IP PBX system.
VoIP isn’t only for communication; it also boosts productivity through constant and quality voice calls. Generally, with the integration of VoIP PBX system, any marine company can basically communicate more effectively with their local and overseas offices and vessels, as well as allow seafarers to maintain healthy communication with their loved ones.