Ericsson has boosted its non-telco customer base as Taiwan’s U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation signed up to use its fleet management solutions.

U-Ming, the biggest bulk carrier in Taiwan, will deploy the vendor’s Maritime ICT Cloud and Connected Vessel products.

Ericsson said the deal was its first global bulk carrier deal, although it also supplies comms equipment to shipping giant Maersk Line.

Maritime ICT Cloud will enable U-Ming to collect “near-real-time data” on vessel location and movement, and to monitor vessel speeds against manually set planned speeds, allowing the company to optimise fuel consumption, Ericsson said.

The Connected Vessel offering, meanwhile, supports ship-to-shore VoIP and email communications for personnel on board vessels.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will manage day-to-day operations and maintenance of the solution, along with initial installation and integration.

U-Ming announced today (Wednesday) that one its ships collided with a fishing vessel whose nine crewmen went overboard and are still missing.

Jeff Hsu, Senior Vice President, U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation, said: "The implementation of Ericsson's fleet management system will help U-Ming Marine Transport elevate our communications systems, enhance our crew's wellbeing & safety, and improve fuel efficiency.

“Our partnership with Ericsson will ensure U-Ming maintains its drive to be the most operationally efficient and eco-friendly shipping company we can be.”

[Read more: Orange Business Services launches comms platform for shipping industry]

The announcement comes as Ericsson continues to look beyond its traditional telco customer base.

Last week, it announced a partnership with Cisco that has designs on capturing growth in the enterprise market in the future.

[Read more: Orange Business Services CEO warns Ericsson, Cisco that enterprise dreams may not turn out as hoped]

In July, the Sweden-based company unveiled a new Industry and Society (I&S) business unit focused on the energy/utilities, safety/security, automotive and shipping sectors.

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