KNL Networks working towards a hybrid communications future

The name KNL Networks is a relatively new one in the maritime communications sphere having launched around nine months ago.

In a crowded market place the Finnish company is offering something different relying on terrestrial based communications to provide connectivity to shipping. The idea of using shortwave radio may sound old-fashioned, but it has been used to develop what KNL ceo and founder Toni Linden sees as part of a hybrid communications future.

“We took only the physics of shortwave radio and built a totally new kind of digital radio system utilising the latest software. Basically what that allows us to do is to provide truly global communications that are very reliable and secure,” Linden told Sea Asia Today.

Each user of the system also acts as a base station providing a global mesh network. Linden says the range of each base station is such that the company only required a handful users to have full global coverage, which it has had for some time. With each user acting as a base station when in port or close to the shore, the addition of new users does not mean greater competition for bandwidth as new users also add bandwidth to the network.

Currently KNL is offering two services, one-based on shortwave radio for global communication of business critical data using limited bandwidth, and a global broadband offering for near shore and in port.

In 2018 the company is planning to roll out an LTE type of connectivity that covers 50% of main shipping routes.

“What we are doing now is working more and more towards hybrid communications because we believe this is where the future is,” Linden said.

Just last week KNL partnered with Jason Electronics as a distributor in Singapore.

Posted 28 April 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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