Deployed: High-Speed Communications & Data Network for Ferry Transit

Situation:

P&O Ferries in Dover, England needed to augment its existing satellite infrastructure for its vessels operating along the Dover to Calais route. Bandwidth and network availability levels for the satellite link across the servicing fleet was inadequate for the high-speed, seamless browsing experience that customers had become used to throughout their daily lives.

P&O Ferries needed a solution that would deliver broadband connectivity for its 90 minute, 41.4 kilometer (25.7 mile) crossing from the eastern docks of the Dover Ferry Terminal in Dover, England to Gare Terminal East in Calais, France; and allow for enhanced WIFI Hotspot operations for patrons, as well as continued operations for the point-of-sale (POS) communications, and VPN needs of the vessel.

Dover, England to Calais, France Route — Google Maps

They needed a solution that would take over for the bulk of their communications and data needs, while also integrating with their existing satellite infrastructure to assist with any load balancing, performance-based routing, or hot-standby needs they may have.

Solution:

BATS Wireless provided its industry-leading antenna tracking and stabilization solution for P&O Ferries Dover to Calais deployment, to enable a broadband link that was able to meet and exceed the bandwidth requirements for the ferry route. This link was a part of a hybrid terrestrial — satellite networking solution using high-speed MIMO radios on both coasts to deliver broadband communications and data services.

BATS’ DVM 30 dome was placed at high-points on both ends of the crossing, powered by a 24dBi MIMO antenna and MIMO radio, while two DVM 30 systems were placed abroad the vessel in fwd/aft positions, also powered by 24dBi MIMO antennas and MIMO radios.

The BATS deployment was configured for continuous link tracking and advanced network aggregation, which would allow the antenna tracking system to travel from one port to another while along the route, allowing for single or dual BATS network connections and intelligent system handoff — even maintaining links for distances of up to 30 kilometers.

Together, the solution notably achieved and exceeded the desired throughput for the ferry route; providing P&O Ferries with a compelling differentiator — delivering up to an industry-leading 300 Mbps aggregate. These speeds allowed the operators the ability to provide an enhanced internet browsing experience for its patrons, while also dramatically increasing network performance.