Internet on the ship. Myth or reality?

If you have ever been on a cruise trip, the problem of accessibility is familiar to you. There is no network, local Wi-Fi works very poorly. We, of course, for the rest of the whole digital that surrounds us around the clock. But sometimes without a connection, nowhere, especially when you want to post photos on social networks or share your impressions with relatives.

How about to organize Wi-Fi on the water, at a distance of 20 km from the shore?

For many years we have been helping companies of various specializations in solving telecommunication problems. In addition to organizing Wi-Fi points, Netbynet specializes in providing communication channels, cloud services - video surveillance and storage, digital and cable television.

One of our customers is the shipping company Vodohod, which specializes in cruise travels in Russia. For them, we solved the problem of wireless Internet, which will work both near the coast and on the road.
How technically the process was organized and what difficulties we encountered in our work, now we will tell.

What is the difficulty?

It was necessary to equip 3 four-deck cruise ships.

"Mstislav Rostropovich" - a comfortable luxury ship, designed for 212 seats. It runs between St. Petersburg and Valaam.

Nizhny Novgorod is a motor ship-boarding house, designed for 260 passengers. You can go there from Nizhny Novgorod to Kostroma, Astrakhan, Cheboksary, Elabuga, St. Petersburg and back.

"Yuri Andropov" is a motor ship-boarding house with a seating capacity of 300 seats. He goes from Moscow to St. Petersburg, with a visit to Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara.
Wireless Internet had to be done in the most visited part of the ship - in the bar.

To organize communication in such a distance from the shore is technologically rather difficult. During the project implementation, two ways to solve the problem were considered:

  • via 3G / LTE technology;
  • via satellite internet.

Ideal - satellite connection. At any point, even in complete distance from the coast, you will be in touch. Essential "but", not allowing to use it in large quantities, is the cost. Satellite Internet will cost customers tens of times more expensive than standard mobile coverage.

The best option is a solution based on 3G / LTE. The quality of coverage here will depend only on the number of installed routers, their capacity and capacity: for 1 or 2, 3 or 4 SIM cards. We implemented exactly the solution based on 3G / LTE.

3G / 4G Internet

We know perfectly well what is mobile Internet on land, but here is how to use it in transport when speed, distance from a base station, a lot of factors influence the signal, and several dozen people use the network at once?

Wi-Fi based on the mobile Internet is a complex scheme of aggregation, monitoring and control of traffic, which for the average user should not differ from the usual Wi-Fi at home or in a cafe.

This is how it is arranged, for example, in buses, trolley buses and trams of Moscow. On the ship uses about the same scheme. Depending on the coverage in a particular region, sim cards of one or several operators are used.

LTE from Megafon base stations was involved in this decision. The channel width is up to 300 Mbps. The stability of the signal on the route can vary, the connection speed, the amount of received and transmitted data can also vary. But this will be quite enough for checking mail, social networks, browsing forums, news and other familiar resources.

Let us dwell on the implementation.

Ship equipment

On board each ship, a four-slot LTE router, MAR, is installed. This is a light version of routers installed on Sapsans and Swallows. It is distinguished by a unique algorithm of reservation and aggregation of channels, which allows you to get a stable Internet. MAR has special SIM cards with the highest priority. They are unlimited, with roaming throughout the Russian Federation. 4 routed LTE antennas deployed in different directions of the world are connected to the router. By request, a special mast was made, which is adjustable in height so that the ship could pass under low bridges.

The installation location of the equipment inside the motor ship was as close as possible to the installation of the antenna outside (not more than 5 meters) in order to reduce attenuation on cable assemblies and to obtain the best possible signal level. For transmitting a high-frequency radio signal with minimal losses, cable assemblies 5D-FB were used. A Wi-Fi access point Ubiquiti UniFi AP PRO is connected to the router. They have built-in 3x3 MIMO antennas for 2.4GHz and 2x2 MIMO for 5GHz, powered by PoE 802.3af. And most importantly, they connect to the cloud controller, from which you can centrally manage and receive all statistics on connected clients and traffic. The point supports more than 100 simultaneously connected clients with speeds up to 300 Mbps in the 5 GHz band and up to 450 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band.

What is the output

And at the exit - a stable Internet for river travel. There are no speed limits for passengers. The signal level allows you to send messages even up to 20 km from the coast. Communication can disappear only in case of complete absence of base station coverage. For example, during a cruise on Lake Ladoga.

We implemented Wi-Fi-access to the Internet in the bar-restaurant of ships. When installing additional routers, the number of access points can be increased to provide communication for the entire ship.

Wi-Fi is not only Internet

Equipment of the ship with a Wi-Fi network is not only the Internet, but also additional management and monitoring capabilities.

A GPS is installed in MAR, which allows you to see the vessel’s position with maximum accuracy and monitor its movement. All statistics are collected in a single monitoring interface for online tracking and diagnostics of problems. Moreover, the presence of the network allows you to install additional on-board video cameras with live streaming, light and water sensors.

Internet anywhere?

Internet in transit, whether ship, train or plane - this is certainly a huge plus to the comfort of travel in addition to saving traffic in roaming. Understanding the basic principles of networking, you can equip Wi-Fi anywhere. But, considering all the security rules (SORM), aggregation and authorization on the network, only a reliable provider can implement this.

And yet, soon no one will need Wi-Fi. If Ilon Musk launches 4425 satellites and makes free Internet all over the world.

Also popular now: