FS Empowers a Maritime Service Provider with Onboard Wireless Network: Overcoming Maritime Communication and Maintenance Challenges

Posted on Mar 21, 2023

As one of the world's leading tanker operators, the client owns around 100 tankers. With the increase in maritime business, the maritime network communication also faces great challenges.

However, due to the special environment of ships operating at sea, public communication networks can not cover the open sea, and traditional communication methods and IT systems can not meet the company's internal communication needs and crew's life needs. In addition, how to ensure the security of ship information and operational difficulties is also the focus of the customer. To solve these challenges, the customer collaborated with FS to launch a shipborne wireless network solution, which helps clients to improve the construction of ship information management and the configuration of wireless communication resources.

Customer company profile

It is a leading operator in the energy transportation sector, offering a full range of ship management services, and currently has a large fleet of around 100 vessels with a total of more than 2,000 crew and shore-based employees. The client is headquartered in Europe and has more than ten offices worldwide and is committed to providing efficient and reliable maritime transport services to its customers.

“This is indeed a network solution that is very close to our actual needs. It meets our requirements in terms of network design, product use, and project budget. Thanks, FS." - Janet Pullan (IT Service Specialist)


  • Due to technological limitations, the development of marine communication lags far behind land communication. Public communication networks can hardly cover the open sea, while the bandwidth resources provided by satellite networks are limited, making it difficult to allocate bandwidth resources between crews, and network transmission stability can not be guaranteed.

  • Due to crew members' limited technical experience, they cannot perform network operations, requiring remote monitoring, troubleshooting, and guidance from onshore technical personnel. With a large number of ships, spanning different time zones, 24/7 technical support becomes necessary. However, it can be challenging for onshore technical personnel to maintain consistency with crew members, resulting in inconveniences.

  • When internal network data exchange between crew members and onshore offices is realized on the satellite system, network security needs to be highly valued. Security-related software or hardware needs to be used to protect ships and remote assets from the impact of network risks.


Uninterrupted Network Connectivity Leads to Dual Life and Work Convenience

Due to the special environment in which ships operate at sea, traditional communication methods and IT systems are unstable, making it difficult to meet the daily needs of the crew and the internal communication needs of the company. To solve the problem of unstable network transmission on the ship, FS engineers have taken various measures to optimize the network.

ships operate at sea

Firstly, the two FS S5860-20SQ switches are stacked in the core layer to increase the bandwidth, achieve link load balancing, and realize millisecond-level active/standby switching in case of device or link failures, ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity. In addition, the core switch and access switch are connected via LACP to improve the network's bandwidth and reliability.

By connecting the core switch to the access switch to form link aggregation, even if one link fails, the remaining links can take up the traffic load, improving the bandwidth and reliability of the network. Enabling the switch's traffic control function allows for the prioritization of data transmissions, improving the accuracy of traffic control and bandwidth allocation and ultimately enhancing the stability of onboard network transmission.

FS has always insisted on high-quality products, complying with international and industry standards and passing various certifications and shipping tests, so as to reduce the risk and loss of navigation caused by material problems, ensure the reliability and long-term stability of the equipment, and reduce operation and maintenance problems later on. This reduces the risks and losses caused by material problems, ensures the reliability and long-term stability of the equipment and reduces post-operation and maintenance problems.

These measures have made internal data exchange between crew members and onshore offices more stable, effectively improving work efficiency.

Airware Cloud Management Platform Enables Remote Monitoring and Maintenance

Janet, the system engineer, told FS that due to the inability of technical personnel to board the ship most of the time, and the crew's lack of relevant network knowledge, the ship, which operates 24 hours a day around the world, requires maximum and convenient access to and use of IT infrastructure. As a result, it has been plagued by operational problems. To solve this problem, the FS service team introduced the Airware cloud management platform to the customer, which can remotely complete network configuration of AP, AC, and multiple models of switches, achieving quick deployment within minutes.

In addition, the Airware cloud platform also has a cloud troubleshooting function. In the event of a fault, customers can quickly view exception alerts, and conduct remote fault analysis and processing without waiting for technicians to go aboard for related operations. Through the platform, network equipment status information can be viewed clearly and device faults can be seen at a glance. All of this can effectively reduce the difficulty of operation and maintenance, helping customers greatly reduce later operating costs.

airware cloud management platform

FS can also provide technical training services. For crew members and engineers, FS's professional training team will provide professional technical support and guidance on different levels of technical skills and concerns. Trainees can learn and master relevant skills and knowledge, which will help them better solve various technical problems.

Multiple Defensive Barriers to Safeguard IT Systems on Ships

In modern ships, IT systems are an indispensable part that can improve crew efficiency, manage cargo, and plan navigation routes. However, at the same time, due to various threats faced during sea navigation, such as network attacks, ransomware, malware, etc., the security of shipboard network systems has become a major concern.

To protect these IT systems, FS has established multiple defensive barriers for customers. FS provides a range of network security devices for ship IT systems. Through the NSG-3100 network firewall, potential threats related to high-risk applications can be identified and prevented, ensuring that only legitimate traffic and data can pass through the system. At the same time, to protect ship IT systems, it is necessary to ensure that only authorized personnel can access them. Access control and intrusion defense technology through the firewall can ensure that only authorized personnel can log in to the system and resist attacks from intruders, ensuring system security.

Besides, the NSG-3100 firewall can also help build a secure network channel connecting ships, headquarters, and branch offices to ensure secure resource sharing and unified management.

This solution ensures the security of IT system data transmission, protects the privacy and integrity of customer data, and reduces the risk of the system being attacked by hackers. It provides security guarantees for the entire ship's IT system, ensuring the efficient completion and smooth progress of ship operations.

IT systems on ships


The high-quality shipboard wireless network deployed by the FS service team is the key to the customer's successful response to business challenges. While ensuring network stability and information security, the company has fundamentally improved internal collaboration efficiency and has been able to respond quickly to emergencies, providing strong guarantees for the company's sustainable development.

If you are also facing similar business challenges, please contact our team to learn how FS.com can help your enterprise achieve network success.

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