Monday, 19 October 2021 17:12

4MS develops self-funding WiFi system to boost crew welfare

An Aberdeen IT and communications company has developed a new system which allows offshore operators to cut costs without cutting off communications for its crew members.

4MS Network Solutions has been working with ITC Global and VitalWiFi to create its Self Funding Crew WiFi service, which offers a pay as you go satellite internet connection to staff stationed on ocean-going vessels and installations.

The cost per megabyte can also be varied by the operator in order to ensure that costs are simply covered rather than being run for profit, maximising the benefits for the crew by making it as financially efficient as possible.

Hugh Mackay, director of 4MS Network Solutions, said: “Supplying the internet to employees stationed offshore is often looked on as a cost, but it should be seen as an enabler for improving crew welfare and staff retention.

“When employees are working hundreds or even thousands of miles out at sea for weeks at a time, it’s important that they can get online to keep in touch with their friends and family – through social networking or video calling with Skype and FaceTime – or they may look for work elsewhere.”

4MS is now making the service widely available following a successful trial on a North Sea vessel in late 2014 which saw it initially deployed to one boat owned by a global subsea engineering firm. After reviewing both the usage and financial statistics at the end of the six-week pilot, the operator made the decision to roll out the system across the remainder of its 30-strong fleet. The solution has now been adopted by a number of offshore operators with very positive feedback.

The Self Funding Crew WiFi service uses an automatic satellite tracking system designed by ITC Global and is backed up with 24/7 support and management from 4MS, allowing for connectivity no matter which global location staff are deployed to, or the potentially extreme conditions they may be facing.

Alongside the energy industry, 4MS is targeting a number of other sectors which may also find the system useful.

Hugh added: “Of course, the system can be used onshore as well, and would bring benefits to businesses like hotels or event organisers who will often want to help guests and delegates connect to the internet for minimal cost and with little disruption.”

Since its launch in 2007, 4MS has won six Cisco awards including Enterprise Partner of the Year twice, and its highest distinction of Cisco Channel Customer Satisfaction Excellence in August of this year.

To book a trial of 4MS Network Solutions Self Funding Crew WiFi service or to find more information, visit the company’s website or call +44 (0) 1224 825 088.

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