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Marlink Delivers Smart Hybrid Connectivity to Ponant

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Marlink – a company specializing in providing smart network solutions – has announced that it supported Ponant’s first polar exploration ship, Le Commandant Charcot, with data and voice connectivity.

According to a press release, Marlink provided a hybrid network solution, combining Sealink dual C- and Ku-band VSAT connectivity, GEO and LEO L-band connectivity and a high-data volume LEO store & forward capability.

Marlink said that the network employed “the latest technologies,” including software defined routeing (SD-WAN). Marlink's LTE/GSM service completed the hybrid network solution and enabled Ponant to provide “aggregated delivery of hundreds of gigabytes per month, offering a record amount of data to connectivity-hungry customers.”

Le Commandant Charcot became the first vessel of her kind to reach the geographic North Pole on Sept. 6, 2021, during sea trials in preparation for her maiden voyage later this year.

Constructed at VARD’s Tulcea shipyard in Romania, with outfitting completed at the VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway, the vessel is the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

“Le Commandant Charcot will enable guests to follow in the footsteps of French polar scientist Jean-Baptiste Charcot, a challenge that demands the best in vessel design and operations,” said Mathieu Petiteau, director of newbuilds, Research and Development, Ponant. “The challenge we gave Marlink was simple: to create a communications solution without compromise worthy of polar explorers and tailored for those who follow their footsteps and they have delivered.”

“Le Commandant Charcot will feature a new level of connectivity, enhancing the experience for guests and keeping them connected when at extreme latitudes,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president, Maritime, Marlink. “By combining GEO and LEO constellations with our managed services terrestrial connectivity and global network know-how, Marlink is able to provide the best possible services and keep Ponant’s promises to its customers.”

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