ST Engineering iDirect, Paratus, KNS bring connectivity to African mining ships

The collaboration will see Paratus deploy the iDirect modems with KNS Ku-antennas to deliver bandwidth-intensive mobility services

ST Engineering iDirect, Paratus, KNS bring connectivity to African mining ships

ST Engineering iDirect, a company of ST Engineering North America, has announced that its long-term customer Paratus, a pan-African telecommunications group which provides satellite connectivity across Africa, has deployed its iDirect modems with marine antenna from manufacturer and integrator KNS Inc., to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity to mining ships based in Guinea, West Africa.

The vessels and their crew require constant and reliable communications to keep in permanent contact with their headquarters on land, and with other shipping vessels during operations at the Boffa port in Guinea, where 3G/4G connectivity is poor and internet services are limited.

The ships were installed with the iDirect modem and KNS 1.2m Maritime Antenna Z12Mk2 in Shanghai, China, enabling bandwidth-intensive applications including video, email and WeChat to be run. Paratus remotely configured the modems and commissioned the antennas for the ships when they arrived in Boffa. Commissioning is completed with the ships being operational.

Colwyn van Rensburg, Chief Development Officer at Paratus, said:

“We are pleased to be working alongside our long-term partner ST Engineering iDirect as we continue to address poor connectivity issues that currently affect Africa. The work we have undertaken has more than satisfied our customer, and the company is looking to implement further connectivity for its offices in the future. We look forward to our continued success together.”

EZ Gao, Manager of Asia and MENA at KNS, commented:

“Our collaboration with ST Engineering iDirect stretches back for over a decade. We already have plans in place to expand our collaboration to the market, building upon this very strong foundation to drive expansion towards more price-sensitive customers in certain market segments and regions to enable this kind of mission-critical connectivity at sea.”

Pieter-Paul Mooijman, Regional Vice President for Africa at ST Engineering iDirect, said:

“We are excited to extend our relationship with Paratus, whom we have worked with for many years to provide data rates and multi-service capabilities to their customers. Paratus is already utilizing ST Engineering iDirect hubs to power connectivity in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. This collaboration further demonstrates how satellite is an effective and reliable form of connectivity for traditionally hard-to-reach locations, with the versatility to serve diverse markets and applications.”