OneWeb Use Case: The connected seafarer

5/5/23 | 3 minute read

Safeguarding crew welfare at sea

In today’s world, reliable connectivity has become a human right. OneWeb believes that this should apply to crew onboard ships at sea. Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of all employees who may be away at sea for months at a time. Providing seafarers with patient access to remote clinical services, or the power to stay in touch with friends and family onshore is vital.

LEO satellite connectivity from OneWeb can make this ambition a reality for ship operators. By providing fast, reliable, low latency connectivity to ships at cost-effective prices, crew members can keep in contact with loved ones over video calls, post videos on social media, keep themselves entertained, and stream their favourite movies and TV shows.

Ultimately, LEO satellite connectivity benefits crew members, improves welfare, and positively impacts morale and ship operations. Improved connectivity can even make it easier to recruit new, talented people to work at sea, particularly the younger generation who expect affordable connectivity at sea as on land.

Connectivity challenges

Giving crew members access to connectivity at sea has often been an afterthought. Satellite connectivity has been historically expensive for ship owners and operators to purchase. Therefore they have typically only given crew members limited time and data allowances to spend online, with payment taken directly from their wages.

To overcome the seafarer shortage and hiring challenges, online and social media access is now seen as a condition of employment.

Connectivity solutions

OneWeb believes that access to fast, reliable, ubiquitous connectivity should be given as standard to crew members, not as a perk, and not as an expense. With LEO satellite connectivity this becomes possible. OneWeb can deliver for ship owners and operators the high speeds, low latency, bandwidth, and affordable services that connect seafarers and make life more normal for all onboard.

It is also important for ship operators to ensure that business and personal communications are segmented onboard. While enhancing crew welfare is essential, they must ensure that the connectivity crews use for video streaming content for personal enjoyment does not impact data-flows for operations and navigation.

Enhanced opportunities

Connectivity as a human right

LEO satellite connectivity makes the connected seafarer a reality wherever ships are. It allows crew members to contact friends and family just as they would be able to on land. It improves the quality of life for crew onboard, with a subsequent boost to morale and employee loyalty.

Telemedicine making ships safer

OneWeb LEO satellite can enable telemedicine onboard. A study by Yale University found that 7% of medical incidents require evacuation of crew members due to lack of medical expertise onboard. This can amount to millions of dollars in costs. LEO satellite connectivity gives ship owners and operators access to onshore medical expertise and consultancy to diagnose medical conditions and make better informed judgements.

Normalcy at sea

LEO satellite connectivity allows ship owners and operators to use connectivity to drive competitive advantage: not just in terms of enhancing business processes and operations, but also in terms of recruiting the best talent. Being connected also means you can carry out crew training while at sea, and ensure all staff have their skills up to date all the time. A connected crew is a happier, more productive crew.

Enhanced and new applications

All the personal and social apps

Crew members can log on and use their social media apps no matter where in the world they are.

Keeping in touch

Ability to make video calls to family and friends while at sea.

Healthcare possibilities

Potential to use telemedicine apps in the event of healthcare consultancy being required.


Crew members can monitor potentially dangerous materials and use live cameras and sensors to maintain safety.

Training and personal development

Learning and professional development are enhanced with fast, reliable connectivity at sea.


A value-add for crew members when on downtime: the ability to stream online 4K HD video, films, and TV series.


Provides the ability to make video calls with colleagues onshore, enabling seamless collaboration.

Global space-based connectivity made easy

OneWeb LEO satellite connectivity can enable the connected seafarer and improve crew welfare for ship owners and operators. Crew onboard can keep in touch with friends and family, use social media, stream video during their time off, and have access to remote healthcare through telemedicine applications, all in real-time, delivering an end-user experience not previously available to crews at sea.

OneWeb products and plans offer the speed, reliability and low latency that enables the latest applications, enhances the end-user experience, and addresses a basic human right to fast, reliable connectivity at sea. Simple to order, deliver, install, and maintain, for primary, backup, and hybrid

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