August 01, 2023
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto; Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo) and KDDI Corporation (President: Makoto Takahashi; Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) today announced that from August 2023 onward, the two companies will conduct trial use of satellite broadband "Starlink Business (https://biz.kddi.com/service/starlink/)" onboard a MOL Group-operated cruise ship, ferries, and a coastal RORO vessel aimed at enhancing the communication environment aboard ships.
Starlink enables a communication environment with a maximum download speed of 220 Mbps (Note 1) during the voyage, and contributes to High-speed Communication and Safe Navigation for Crewmembers and Passengers. The trial will evaluate the system from both technical and economic standpoints, and MOL Group plans to introduce the system from autumn 2023 onwards, depending on the situation and schedule of each ship.
In this trial, a total of four ships-the cruise ship Nippon Maru operated by MOL Cruises, Ltd. (Note 2) (President: Yusuke Ueno; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo), the ferry Sunflower Sapporo and RORO vessel Musashi Maru operated by MOL Ferry Co., Ltd. (President: Naotoshi Omoto; Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), and the ferry Sunflower Satsuma operated by Ferry Sunflower Limited (President: Mitsujiro Akasaka; Head Office: Oita-shi, Oita Prefecture), will be equipped with the "Starlink Business" communication service for maritime use (Note 3). The initial trial will be conducted with crewmembers and employees, and based on the results, the companies will discuss expanding the use of the trial to passengers onboard.
MOL and KDDI will offer more comfortable cruises and improve the quality of work and life onboard for crewmembers while further pursuing digital transformation at sea, by utilizing satellite communication services that enable high-speed communication in maritime areas where it is difficult to establish a communication environment.
The July 3, 2023 KDDI News Release
Starlink is now available for use at sea ~First to offer service, starting from within Japan's territorial waters ~
On August 1, 2023, the company name was changed from "Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, Ltd." to "MOL Cruises, Ltd."
Use at sea is limited to 12 nautical miles (approx. 22 km) seaward of the reference coastline (baseline).
Mobile use on land is not allowed. Communication speed is on a best-effort basis.
The December 12, 2022, MOL press release
MOL to Introduce Trial Use of Starlink Satellite Communication Service onboard Ocean-going Vessels -Safer operations and improved quality of life for crew members-
The June 6, 2023 MOL press release
MOL Conducts Sea Trial of Starlink Satellite Communication Service Onboard Ocean-going Vessel - Confirmed up to 50 Times Faster Communication Speed -