Field Kristin. Foto Marit Hommedal/©Equinor

Eltel revolutionises global offshore communications

Eltel Norway offers innovative solutions to upgrade offshore microwave radio link communication systems and provides an unparalleled level of customer service.

3 min

Providing essential communication upgrades

Since 2019, Eltel has had framework agreements with customers to upgrade and service microwave radio links between oil rigs in the North Sea. These include Equinor, the Norwegian energy company, and Tampnet, the largest offshore high-capacity communication network in the world.

At the end of 2023, Eltel had installed over 40 microwave radio link communication systems in the North Sea and was in the process of installing four systems in the Gulf of Mexico for Tampnet.

“The existing radio link systems were installed 15-20 years ago, so we are upgrading them with modern technology,” says Nicholas Sorensen, Senior Project Manager – Offshore Telecom at Eltel Networks. “The upgrades provide more powerful point-to-point access with more stable connections and greater capacity.”

Eltel contributes to world-leading innovative solution

Together with the multinational networking and telecommunications company Ericsson and a US gyrostabiliser supplier, Eltel developed innovative software for gyrostabiliser antennas. The solution is used on floating assets to ensure errorless traffic without any data loss.

“Standard gyrostabiliser antenna solutions can suffer data losses lasting several seconds,” explains Sorensen. “As our solution ensures uninterrupted communications, it can be used for critical data traffic. This creates opportunities for automated and remotely operated offshore assets without on-site personnel. It can also help reduce the number of helicopter journeys and the associated environmental impact.”

An end-to-end service

Beyond upgrading, delivering and installing the radio link equipment, Eltel performs feasibility studies, link calculations, and maintenance and support services as part of its customer agreements. Eltel is typically involved in the entire value chain from pre-studies and Factory Acceptance Tests to Site Acceptance Tests and full aftermarket support.

Through its spares warehouse in Bergen, Eltel ensures essential replacement parts can get to anywhere in the North Sea within 24 hours.

“We are able to quickly mobilise spare parts and an installation team whenever and wherever they are needed,” says Sorensen. “This organised maintenance service is an essential part of our offering. Combined with training for the customer’s personnel on the equipment and how to optimally manage it, we really can offer comprehensive services that meet all our customers’ needs.”

Tapping into significant global offshore market opportunities

“We offer a world-leading radio link communication solution with an unparalleled level of comprehensive customer support that often goes beyond what is expected of us,” concludes Sorensen. “Many more customers in the North Sea and beyond can benefit from our offering and we’re currently in talks with new customers around the world, such as in Latin America and Africa. Offshore wind, fish farms and 5G private networks also show huge potential and I see no reason why we can’t double or even treble our offshore communications business in the next few years.”