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Consilium and Orange Launch Current At Sea, a Paperless Maritime Navigation and Communication Solution

Current At Sea improves safety, allows efficient communications, reduces costs and enables ECDIS compliance.

Consilium and Orange Business Services are modernizing maritime communications with the launch of a paperless navigation solution that extends an Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) over the world’s largest MPLS-based network. This bundled, flat-rate solution named Current At Sea enables shipping companies to move to a fully electronic platform for navigation and communications.

Current At Sea is a future-proof, modular ECDIS and communication system that can include voyage optimization programs, fleet and ship management systems, and real-time monitoring applications. Orange is bridging the ship and shore by integrating ECDIS with Orange’s fully managed network (both terrestrial and satellite, including Inmarsat FleetBroadband connectivity). The Orange network ensures accurate, precise data and provides value added enterprise communications such as Business Talk Global, IP Telephony, WAN optimization, M2M and video conferencing to ships at sea.

Nicolas Roy, head of the Network Solutions Business Unit, Orange Business Services, said: “Current At Sea is a one-stop-shop solution that is not about simply replacing paper nautical charts with digital ones but is about completely rethinking business processes in order to improve safety, efficiency and costs. This bundled, fixed-price offering with Consilium will help shipping companies revolutionize the way their vessels operate and significantly improve the way they do business.”

Key customer benefits include:

• immediate compliance with regulatory deadlines – All merchant vessels will be required to use an ECDIS in compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations. The bundled solution from Consilium and Orange provides an efficient way to meet this requirement before the deadline.

• operational cost-savings – Orange’s IP network, which allows for a fixed monthly fee with no usage charges on voice or data, keeps communication costs under control. Fuel savings between 4 to 8 percent can be achieved when voyage optimization programs are integrated into the solution. By accurately pinpointing weather and water currents to determine the most fuel-saving route, hundreds of thousands of dollars can be saved annually per vessel. Additionally, Consilium’s unique concept of chart management enables the system to update only the chart parts that are required for the trajectory of the vessel’s planned voyage, which provides additional cost savings.

• improved safety at sea – With the Consilium ECDIS solution, shipping vessels can access an integrated navigational tool that cuts the time it takes to receive updates, warnings and admiralty overlays from weeks to hours. Because it is connected to the Orange corporate network, vessels are assured of securely receiving this data anywhere in the world. A study by DNV, a risk management foundation, found that such a solution can reduce ship groundings, the third-deadliest maritime disaster, by at least 30 percent.

• corporate-to-vessel integration – Orange’s MPLS-based network allows ships to bypass the public Internet when accessing corporate systems and connect using a much more secure, real-time connection to business-critical applications. Ship personnel can employ the full scope of the applications regardless of location, all at a flat fee; and because the connection is continuous, system maintenance can be done remotely while the ship is at sea.

• improved working conditions – According to estimates, a paperless communications platform as provided by Consilium and Orange can reduce a second officer’s workload by up to 40 percent. Also of benefit are all the amenities that come with a superior network connection, such as Internet, text, e-mail, chat, GSM and entertainment while at sea. These services are a vital draw for recruiting and retaining crewmembers and improving crew morale.

“Current At Sea is a unique solution as it is the first time a VSAT system and a Dual ECDIS are offered as a package with a monthly flat rate, which will not affect the ship owners capital expenditure,” Anders Roos, president, Consilium Marine Group.

In June 2011, Consilium Marine Group and Orange Business Services signed a high-level global cooperation agreement through which Consilium globally markets Orange marine VSAT communication solutions through its 34 offices in 19 countries.