Lars Erik Lunøe is the CEO of Telenor Maritime in Arendal.

As more suppliers demand their equipment to be online, Telenor Maritime is determined to build a maritime digital highway.

“Connectivity is an increasing market. Today, only 20-30 per cent of the estimated 100,000 ships in the world are connected to a satellite. We expect the market to double within a few years. The biggest increase in demand comes from suppliers that find value in being connected to their equipment,” says Lars Erik Lunøe, CEO of Telenor Maritime.

A flow of data between the equipment at sea and the supplier on shore, enables data analysis and communication that can improve operations, safety and maintenance, while reducing costs.

“The cost of connectivity is still high, so it is imperative to communicate efficiently. We are looking into offering new solutions for data processing on board, allowing for data to be transferred onshore on a more selective, and not continuous, basis,” explains Lunøe.

As of today, passengers and crew are the most important customer groups on the 400 ship that Telenor Maritime have equipped with a satellite antenna and on-board communication network. This is unlikely to change anytime soon, but a new 5G network is an enabler for Internet of Things (IoT) offshore, which will expand the market.

“Merchant and supply vessels, with limited crew and no passengers, are usually not online. But increased demand for offshore IoT will see more such ships being connected. Connectivity of equipment will trigger this development, which will also have a positive effect on the well-being and safety of the crew,” says Lunøe.

He likes Telenor Maritime’s chances of capturing large shares of an expanding market.

“We are well positioned and looking forward to capitalizing on the opportunities that will present themselves,” says Lunøe.

The 53-year-old took over as CEO of Telenor Maritime on February 1st. He knows the market well, based on his extensive national and international leadership experience from the maritime sector. Lunøe recently headed the UK-based Survitec Fire Solutions as Managing Director and previously held the same position at Maritime Protection.

“I am excited to join Telenor Maritime, a growth company leading the evolution of secure connectivity at sea. We are providing this in one digital ecosystem, with solutions permitting the same quality of experience at sea as on land, increasing profitability through operational excellence,” says Lunøe.

Telenor Maritime has a number of digitisation projects within networking information and operational technology onboard ships, and more frequently connecting all to the internet.

“We will guide the ship owners through unchartered waters of disruptive technology, to unleash opportunities within IoT, cyber-physical systems, cloud- and cognitive computing,” says Lunøe.

Telenor Maritime employs 80 people, of which 60 are located at the headquarters in Arendal. The company generates revenue close to NOK 500 million on a yearly basis.