Tampnet, a global leader in providing high-capacity, low-latency based telecommunication infrastructure and services for the offshore oil and gas industry, announced the completion of the 4G LTE network coverage program that has been ongoing for the past two years.
Tampnet has built a unique and cutting edge, carrier grade 4G LTE network in the GoM, with geo-redundant EPC cores as well as distributed core equipment offshore. The roll out of the current LTE network started two years ago and has been a tremendous success, currently serving production platforms, rigs, vessels and personal mobile subscribers along the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, as well as the offshore GoM area. While the legacy 2G coverage has already been replaced by 4G LTE, Tampnet continues to build coverage backhauled on fiber, particularly in the Deepwater region.
The LTE coverage enables ways of working that have never been seen in the GoM before, including new and innovative ways of operating offshore platforms, increasing productivity, safety, environmental awareness and response as well as welfare for workers in the offshore industry.
Furthermore, Tampnet’s GSM and LTE roaming agreements with the major mobile operators in the US, ensures seamless connectivity between onshore and offshore networks without the need for changing SIM cards.
The new LTE communication standards will also be the key enabler for the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem offshore. Tampnet has started the transition towards 5G and will enable both NB-IoT and Cat-M1, providing optimized connectivity to sensors and tracking devices, to meet customer requirements within the rapidly growing digitalization domain.
The Tampnet LTE network offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is unique, and Tampnet is the only provider able to carry its LTE traffic to shore on a redundant subsea fiber optic infrastructure, complementing a vast network of cutting edge microwave radio links. The exclusive access to this fiber infrastructure gives Tampnet and its customers a great advantage, both with regards to resilience and future capacity needs.
“We are pleased that our aggressive roll-out strategy in the Gulf is working and that we are meeting our coverage milestones”, says Per Helge Svensson, the Tampnet CEO. “Even more exciting is the overall customer interest and the fact that we already have a high number of offshore assets connected to the network – and many more planned within the next few weeks and months. The market is clearly ready for this game-changing technology shift in the Gulf, replacing high latency VSAT and mobile-unfriendly, low bandwidth WiMAX systems that are still widely used in the region. 4G/LTE is a very well proven and globally adopted technology that our customers are familiar with on-shore, and now expect to also be able to use offshore. The technology has been welcomed in the offshore environment, and we look forward to enabling the full capability of the mobile technology ecosystem to our customers. Unlike anyone else, we are basing our redundant network core infrastructure on fiber and microwave – which nobody else can offer”, he adds. “We have significant experience in building mobile networks offshore from the North Sea, and we will continue to develop our new technology ecosystem in the Gulf that is future proof, enables very high bandwidths and can be utilized by the industry.
We expect rapid growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Narrowband LTE spheres in the coming years and will upgrade our network to 5G and beyond once the technology is relevant and capacity demand is there to support these exciting new technologies. Our network is already 5G ready, and can quickly be upgraded to support 5G when needed. The general technology shift from legacy systems to cutting edge mobile technologies in the GoM will without a doubt enable the Oil & Gas and maritime industry to increase the efficiency and overall safety in their operations”.
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