Placed on – 7 January 2021

IoT connectivity is now also possible at sea

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IoT connectivity is now also possible at sea

KPN and the Norwegian telecom provider Tampnet have installed an offshore antenna network in the North Sea. As a result, the mobile range is extended to three hundred kilometers beyond the Dutch coast. This extension offers all kinds of new possibilities for IoT and organizations at sea. In this article, we highlight three maritime applications where IoT adds value.

Monitor machines remotely
Machines on drilling platforms are used intensively daily. It is a physically demanding task for the crew members to keep all these machines working. They clean the pumps and separators and maintain or replace parts at regular intervals. Whether it is necessary or not, the goal is to avoid unnecessary downtime. IoT can facilitate these tasks and increase crew safety. By implementing IoT sensors in the machines, it is possible to monitor the status in real-time. With the data these sensors collect, patterns can be identified, and alerts can be sent when a machine needs maintenance. In this way, the maintenance process can be adjusted from ‘preventive’ to ‘predictive’. In practice in other sectors, this not only leads to less work but also a reduction in downtime.

Measure the temperature in container ships
Before it reaches consumers, much of the food transported by container ships has decayed. One of the causes is the increased temperature in containers. In practice, it is a difficult task to keep these containers at the required temperature. Due to the limited personnel on a ship, there is also no capacity to regularly check the cargo. With IoT sensors, it is possible to continuously monitor the conditions in the containers and to keep a real-time overview of the state of the cargo. The result? Respond more quickly when the conditions in the container changes and, therefore, less product damage.

Prevent corrosion on offshore platforms
Corrosion is a problem for offshore oil companies. Corrosion in offshore steel platforms leads to damage and failure of installations and loss of turnover. Also, unsafe situations arise for the crew because corrosion inspections are carried out using manual methods. IoT can add value here. Sensors enable real-time automated and consistent corrosion monitoring. The sensors detect when the installations (and pipes) corrode to the point where leaks and breaks occur. With this data, it is possible to anticipate and prevent corrosion errors with the correct maintenance strategies. These strategies reduce work for the crew and, thus, create a safer working environment.


The expansion of the KPN network gives the IoT the space to move from land to sea. IoT has many potentials, and with this development, IoT also offers the maritime sector a sea of ​​possibilities.

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