Marlink expands in Japan

Feb 02 2018

Marlink’s Tokyo office has moved to new, larger premises as the company’s Japanese team grows to meet the needs of an expanding VSAT customer-base in the region.

The office, which was first established in 1978, provides vital proximity to Japanese shipowners and is a key player in the region’s growing use of the latest satcom services, such as Marlink Sealink VSAT and Inmarsat Fleet Xpress.


As part of Marlink’s global network of over 20 first-party facilities, Marlink Japan is playing a crucial role in supporting shipping companies to deliver more effective and available connectivity to crew members, using multi-band VSAT services.


In a double blind survey of Asian shipping companies in 2017, Japanese shipowners came out on top for committing to the use of satcoms to improve crew welfare, which is reflected in VSAT customer growth in the region.


“Our satcom survey revealed that over 70% of Asian shipowners believe that VSAT can deliver a competitive edge and we see that Japan, along with Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are leading the way in adoption,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President Maritime, Marlink. “With our deep understanding of the market, we believe that it is vital to grow our presence in Japan to ensure we are well-positioned to meet the changing needs of the large shipping industry there.”


“The new location is over twice the size, which helps us to accommodate more field engineers, technical support and sales staff, in addition to enabling us to build a new service management function for better co-ordination and smoother operations towards the customer,” said Shinobu Suzuki, Marlink Japan. “The market here is very strong, as more shipowners start to recognise the benefits that VSAT can bring to their operations, from helping to recruit and retain crew to providing a platform for digitalisation that can transform operations and deliver significant efficiencies.”


In addition, Marlink has claimed to be the first Inmarsat Fleet Xpress value added reseller (VAR) to provide customers with a prepaid voice card calling facility.


This gives seafarers a low-cost and easy to manage way to call family and friends ashore, the company said. The prepaid facility is available through Marlink’s Universal Card, Universal Card Go and Prepaid Talk products.


All prepaid minutes on Marlink’s standard calling cards can be used on either the Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) or back-up L-band FleetBroadband elements of the Fleet Xpress service. The same prepaid minutes can also be used on other Marlink services, including Ku and C-band VSAT, so regardless of the connectivity service available, seafarers need just one card to make calls to both terrestrial and mobile numbers.


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