Orange’s enterprise arm has launched a communications platform for the shipping industry.

Maritime Connect offers voice, VoIP, data and internet access functionality and connectivity.

The platform allows shipping companies to integrate their fleet into the corporate network and provide internet access for the crew.

Orange Business Services said use cases for Maritime Connect, which can be used on ships equipped with any type of satellite communications systems, include better route planning to improve fuel consumption and cost control.

The platform was developed as part of a European Union initiative dedicated to improving communications on vessels at sea.

[Read more: OBS reaps IT, networks deal with Norwegian Marine Harvest]

Michel Verbist, Head Business Development Satellite Solutions at OBS, said: “Orange Business Services is uniquely positioned in the maritime market because we are able to integrate many different technologies and networks, both onshore and offshore.

“With the end-to-end integration and satellite connectivity offered by Maritime Connect, vessels on the high seas are now as well connected as terrestrial offices. This enables new ways of working right across the shipping industry.”

OBS saw revenues fall 1.9 percent to €3.2 billion in the first six months of the year.

The decrease was limited to -0.5 percent in the second quarter versus -3.4 percent in the first three months of the year thanks to growth in IT and integration services.

As part of a new five-year strategic plan announced earlier this year, the business unit has been tasked with increasing the share that IT services adds to its revenues by 10 percentage points by 2020.

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