SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is set to be installed across more than 200 vessels operated by Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), with over half the fleet slated to be equipped by the end of fiscal year 2023.
MOL has partnered with Japanese telecom KDDI to bring Starlink terminals to 233 of its ocean-going ships. They aim to significantly improve onboard connectivity for crews through Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband.
Starting in August, KDDI and MOL will commence testing of Starlink Business maritime service on four MOL vessels – the Nippon Maru, Sunflower Sapporo, Musashi Maru, and Sunflower Satsuma. This trial phase will validate performance and reliability before full fleet adoption.
With vast stretches of open ocean still lacking wireless coverage, satellite-based systems like Starlink are critical for maritime connectivity. MOL operates tankers, bulk carriers, and container ships across the globe that can benefit from Starlink’s seamless global footprint.
For crew members, Starlink promises vastly improved access to entertainment, communication with family and friends, telemedicine, online training courses, and more. Operations will also gain from cloud-based fleet management and data transfer capabilities.
MOL’s adoption of Starlink follows deals with other major maritime companies like Royal Caribbean, Transocean, Maersk Partners with SpaceX’s Starlink to Bring High-Speed Satellite Internet to Over 330 Vessels . With competitors still utilizing older satellite technologies, Starlink’s cutting-edge performance is a huge competitive advantage to attract carriers seeking to modernize fleets.
MOL and KDDI’s extensive Starlink rollout demonstrates how vital high-quality onboard connectivity has become for today’s shipping industry from both an employee satisfaction and operational efficiency standpoint.
As Starlink expands its coverage over oceans, the company aims to be the one-stop shop for maritime customers requiring seamless broadband worldwide. MOL’s large-scale adoption is a ringing endorsement of Starlink’s capabilities.