Marine Atlantic chooses Imtech for ship-to-shore communication on Canadian ferries

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(ROTTERDAM, Netherlands) — Marine Atlantic Inc. (MAI) has selected Imtech Marine Canada to replace its ship-to-shore wireless communication system. Given a short time frame, installation took place in just three weeks. Owned by the Canadian government, Marine Atlantic Inc. operates four of the largest ferries in North America and sails between the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia on a daily basis.

In the government tender for the contract Marine Atlantic Inc. requested a reliable, up-to-date and scalable ship-to-shore communications platform. Imtech Marine, through its service and navigation/communication brand Radio Holland, provided a completely integrated system — the hardware, but also the VSAT and a backup fleet broadband satellite airtime.

“When we began the RFP process, one of our key objectives was to not only find a service provider but a business partner; a company we felt could support our existing vessel communication needs, also providing strategic advice and input as we continue to modernize many of our business processes across the fleet,” said Colin Tibbo, CIO of Marine Atlantic Inc. “Our service needs will continue to evolve as we work to strengthen onboard services to both customers and crew and we will continue to look to Imtech/Radio Holland for their expertise to ensure we have the systems in place to support our business.”

Henk VanHeuveln, area manager at Imtech Marine Canada, comments: “The Imtech Marine Managed Solution ensures that MAI has 100 percent coverage — from dock to dock.”

Adaptable, private VSAT network

Marine Atlantic Inc. has its own private network and doesn’t share the bandwidth with other companies. A big advantage of the private VSAT network is that it is completely adaptable; if one ship makes a longer trip, it is easy to give more bandwidth to this particular vessel.

Reliable PoS terminals

Additionally, the new system ensures that the point of sale terminals on board (debit/credit card machines) are reliable and are always available for customers.


Imtech Marine/Radio Holland worked very closely with the IT/IM Department of MAI and pre-engineered the complete system in its Halifax office beforehand. This meant that it was possible to install the systems while the vessels carried out their regular operations.

Through its service and navigation/communication brand Radio Holland, Imtech Marine has worked closely with Marine Atlantic Inc. since 2011 when it started maintaining the navigation and communication systems on all four ferries.

By Professional Mariner Staff