Telesat, one of the world's leading satellite operators, announced today that it is pilot testing a breakthrough system that will enable a wide range of cost-effective e-commerce applications on marine vessels. These applications include improved Internet access, distance education, banking services, remote data collection and tele-tourism.
"Once again, Telesat is using cutting-edge satellite technology to bring advanced communications to places it's never been before," said Paul Bush, Telesat vice president of Broadcasting and Corporate Development. "This is another step toward eliminating the financial and geographical limitations of existing network services."
The marine e-commerce applications (MeCA) project aims to provide marine operators with a suite of e-commerce applications that are flexible and easy to manage for vessels of various types and sizes. Telesat will provide the core Ku-band satellite platform on its Anik F2-R satellite, implement the required hub facilities and train support employees.
"Technological advancements from the MeCA project will benefit both marine operators and passengers," said Roger Flood, president and CEO of Marine Atlantic. "In addition to commercial applications, real-time data collection and reporting will improve vessel safety and performance with navigational and weather analysis."
The MeCA project has completed the pilot system validation and continues to implement services onboard remaining test fleet vessels. A total of five vessels, three from Marine Atlantic (MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood, MV Caribou and MV Leif Erricson) and two from the Woodward Group (MV Robert Bond and MV Northern Ranger) will test the model in the Northern and Eastern Canadian waters.
"These services will satisfy a great demand from both fleet operators and passengers aboard vessels across North America," said Peter Woodward, vice-president of the Woodward Group. "We're confident the MeCA project will develop a system that's easy to manage and maintain and that will serve as a model for the global marine industry."
Funded partially by the Canadian and European Space Agencies, the MeCA project is a partnership between Telesat, Collaborative Network Technologies Inc., Marine Atlantic, Woodward Group of Companies, Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and SmartLabrador. The pilot testing of this satellite e-commerce system under the MeCA project will assist the partners in determining the potential for its commercialization in the future.
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