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Trio of firms bring high-speed connectivity to West African mining vessels

Photo: ST Engineering iDirect Paratus-PR-header.jpg
Satellite communications provider ST Engineering iDirect has made a pact with pan-Africa telecommunications group Paratus and marine antenna provider KNS Inc. to offer high-speed connectivity to mining ships based in Guinea, West Africa.

The vessels were installed with the iDirect modem and KNS 1.2m Maritime Antenna Z12Mk2 in Shanghai, China enabling bandwidth-intensive applications such as video, email and WeChat to be run.

Paratus remotely configured the modems and commissioned the antennas for the ships when they arrived in Boffa. Commissioning is completed with the ships being operational.

At Boffa port in Guinea, where 3G/4G connectivity is poor and internet services are limited, it has become all the more important for the vessels and their crew to have constant and reliable communications to keep in contact with their headquarters on land and with other vessels during operations.

“We are pleased to be working alongside our long-term partner ST Engineering iDirect as we continue to address poor connectivity issues that currently affect Africa,” said Colwyn van Rensburg, chief development officer at Paratus.

EZ Gao, manager of Asia and MENA at KNS, said: “We already have plans in place to expand our collaboration to the market, building upon this very strong foundation to drive expansion towards more price-sensitive customers in certain market segments and regions to enable this kind of mission-critical connectivity at sea.”

Pieter-Paul Mooijman, regional vice president for Africa at ST Engineering iDirect, a company of ST Engineering North America, commented: “Paratus is already utilising ST Engineering iDirect hubs to power connectivity in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. This collaboration further demonstrates how satellite is an effective and reliable form of connectivity for traditionally hard-to-reach locations, with the versatility to serve diverse markets and applications.”