- September 2023: CargoGSM® Supports Dry Container Monitoring Throughout the Vessel
- February 2023: CargoGSM Reefer Monitoring Surpasses 1 Million Hours
- September 2022: CargoGSM Selected for Expanded Deployments
- May 2022: Vobal selects 5G NB-IoT for the Next Generation of CargoGSM
- December 2021: CargoGSM Selected for Super-Panamax Vessel Deployment
- July 2021: CargoGSM Supports Multiple Reefer Owners on Each Vessel
- April 2021: New Reseller for CargoGSM
- June 2020: Vobal's Technology Selected by DCSA
- March 2020: Vobal's Founder and CEO an Inventor of 50 Patents
- March 2019: Vobal Becomes a Member of ETSI
- November 2018: New CargoGSM Deployment
- May 2018: Vobal's Partner Orbcomm Announces ReeferConnect
- December 2017: New CargoGSM Deployment
- May 2017: Vobal and Orbcomm Partner for Maritime M2M
- April 2016: Vobal CEO Awarded "Creator of the Year" by IPLAC
- March 2016: CargoGSM Demonstrates Complete Vessel Coverage
- July 2015: CargoGSM Deployed by Shell Oil
- March 2015: New Reseller for CargoGSM
- Late 2014: New Resellers and CargoGSM Updates
- March 25, 2013: Vobal introduces VobalFEC: Low-Bandwidth VoIP with Forward Error Correction (FEC)
- August 20, 2012: Nice article about us in Marine Electronics and Communications (plus another ad)
- June 17, 2012: Our first ad!
- February 20, 2012: Vobal proudly announces On-Net calling!
- December 19, 2011: Welcome to our newest Service Resellers!
- November 8, 2011: Vobal and Global Marine Networks Sign Strategic Partnership Agreement
- November 8, 2011: Welcome to GMN and QWP Group, our newest S3 service resellers!
- November 8, 2011: The S2 is officially being launched at Barcelona!
- October 27, 2011: It's official: Inmarsat makes Vobal a certified Solutions Provider and Partner
- March 29, 2011: Vobal hires Walter Kane as VP, Sales
- March 18, 2011: Inmarsat Connect eNews article about us came out today
- Dec. 6, 2010: Major pricing overhaul
- Oct 27, 2010: Innovate Illinois Semi-finalists
Large shipping companies are beginning to deploy tracking devices for dry containers, in addition to widely deployed monitoring devices for reefers. Operating reefers below deck are located in holds with opened air vents, which support strong CargoGSM radio signal strength. In contrast, dry containers can be placed in container holds without air vents. CargoGSM with both forward and aft facing directional antennas provides connectivity for these dry containers stacked deepest in the furthest holds (currently up to New Panamax size). At these furthest possible locations, radio signal strength is equivalent to at least one bar for mobile phones, providing connectivity everywhere on these vessels where dry containers are stowed.
The cumulative use of CargoGSM systems across dozens of vessels has surpassed more than 1 million hours of operating run time. During this time, an aggregate of ~ 75 GB of data from refrigerated containers has been successfully collected from a total of around 150K unique reefer container IDs. Nearly 10% of the world’s fleet of refrigerated containers have connected to CargoGSM. Many systems have been operating continuously on the same vessel for over five years.
A USA-based, Jones Act carrier is deploying CargoGSM to additional vessels. This customer has operated CargoGSM for over 4 years. Based on performance and the value added, CargoGSM will be installed on the full vessel fleet. Reasons include increased crew safety and efficiency from wireless reefer monitoring. Reefer alarms are also immediately received, as opposed to during the next manual inspection cycle of all operating reefers throughout the vessel.
ETSI/3GPP standards for 5G have been designed for the operation of 5G Private Networks. A container ship operating at sea is ideal for implementing a 5G private network. The use of 900 Mhz and 5G band N8 is well proven for RF propagation to all locations on the vessel with operating reefers, including the largest ~24 K TEU vessels. 5G standards for networks and devices support authentication with certificates as opposed to pre-shared secret values recorded in SIM cards. Network deployment and support of roaming devices is thus greatly simplified, compared to the legacy authentication of 4G networks which is not designed for IoT devices that move on/off the private network. The use of NB-IoT technology also best supports low-cost devices used with dry containers.
After a series of trials over more than a year, CargoGSM has been chosen for deployment on a class of the world's largest container ships that are larger than 20K TEU. CargoGSM supports particularly strong RF signal strength from single antennas facing forward and aft, which achieve reliable reefer monitoring from all reefer locations both above deck and within container holds. Some reefer locations above deck may be as far as 15 rows of containers from an antenna. At least 6 bays (with 2x 40 foot container lengths each) below deck are supported as well. Alternative solutions such as LoRa require addional transmitters, with associated installation and operational costs, placed throughout the vessel in order to obtain equivalent RF coverage.
Container ships frequently carry refrigerated containers from several different shipping lines, where each line may use different modules and technology for transferring reefer reports. CargoGSM has readily and securely transferred data for at least three different reefer owners on the same vessel, where each reefer owner uses different solutions for reefer monitoring. In this manner, CargoGSM has demonstrated a solution for the clear need to support refrigerated container monitoring accross all reefer types that are frequently loaded onto vessels.
Vobal has signed up S-Winnus as our newest reseller! S-Winnus is based in South Korea and provides tracking and monitoring solutions to customers such as Samsung SDS and DHL Germany. CargoGSM will be deployed on vessels with the S-Winnus "Smart Reefer" solution for monitoring refrigerated containers at sea.
After more than a year in development, the Digital Container Shipping Association has published standards for refrigerated container monitoring. The celluar standards used by Vobal have been selected as a recommended technology, along with LoRaWAN and 4G. Vobal's CargoGSM solution can often provide lower installation and operating costs compared to the alternative technologies.
John Nix was awarded his 50th patent, titled "Hosted device provisioning protocol with servers and a networked initiator". John has more than 25 additional US and international patent applications on file. John's recent patents and pending patent applications include technology covering embedded SIMs, the "Smart Secure Platform", the secure configuration of Wi-Fi networks, 5G authentication with EAP-TLS, and post-quantum cryptography.
Vobal has become a member of the European Technical Standards Institute (ETSI). Vobal will observe and contribute, as applicable, to the development of new technical standards. Vobal's input into emerging standards will leverage extensive experience with (i) M2M applications at sea, such as refrigerated container monitoring, as well as (ii) back-haul over maritime satellite systems.
Vobal's CargoGSM Solution has been deployed by a Jones Act carrier on it's entire Pacific Fleet. The deployment will monitor approximately 25,000 refrigerated container movements each year, with the majority of voyages between the US West Coast and Pacific Islands.
Orbcomm announced ReeferConnect for shipping lines and cargo owners to reduce operating/maintenance costs and improve cargo care. The "VesselConnect" option and "Cellular connectivity" on ships leverages the prior announced partnership.
Vobal's CargoGSM Solution has been deployed by a Jones Act carrier on it's entire barge fleet. Monitoring and remote control of refrigerated containers on the unmanned barges is particularly important, because there is no visual inspection for voyages that can last up to 5 days. Vobal's proven reliability for maintaining both cellular and satellite communications is essential on these barges where no crew is present.
Vobal and Orbcomm announced we are working together for monitoring refrigerated containers at sea. As of mid-2017, Orbcomm has deployed Vobal's CargoGSM solution on about 20 different vessels, ranging from large container ships to unmanned barges. Additional information can be found here.
The Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) has awarded John Nix, Vobal's CEO, the 2016 "Creator of the Year" award. The IPLAC award is given to honor the creative achievements, primarily in the Chicago metropolitan area, that are eligible for patent, copyright, or trademark protection. Over the past year, John has received 8 US patents for securing communications for the "Internet of Things" (IoT). Over the past 20 years, John has been named as the lead inventor on more than 20 patents. Several of those patents and publications are in the top 99% in terms of forward citations for the respective patent age and class.
Vobal's CargoGSM solution for monitoring refrigerated containers has been successfully deployed on a Panamax class vessel with more than 500 operating refrigerated containers (reefers). 900 Mhz RF coverage reaches the entire vessel, without requiring the use of any GSM repeaters.
Over the past few months, Shell Oil has deployed Vobal's CargoGSM system on seven ships ranging from off-shore support vessels (OSV) to Panamax. The multiple vessels use a range of satellite connectivity from VSAT to FleetBroadband, and CargoGSM seamlessly connected to all installed systems. Vobal's unique maritime GSM + GPRS capabilities support the most critical logistics needs for oil exploration in remote regions. CargoGSM ensures nearly continuous, automated monitoring of refrigerated containers from port departure to delivery at offshore oil platforms more than 1,000 miles away.
Vobal has signed up WAM Technologies as our newest reseller! WAM is the first reseller for Vobal's CargoGSM solution, used for M2M data transfer from monitoring devices, such as WAM's RT-6000 device for refrigerated container. Vobal has already deployed CargoGSM with WAM on four vessels, successfully monitoring refrigerated containers at sea.
It's been a while since we've posted any news here, but we haven't been idle. Earlier this year, we signed up new resellers OTESAT-Maritel and OneNet, Ltd. We're also hard at work on our CargoGSM service, which extends our Vobal GSM network to the entire vessel from bow to stern, including container holds. Using the mobile data capabilities from CargoGSM, containers and reefers with tracking and/or monitoring devices can fully operate at sea, not just on land. Thus far (through spring of 2015), more than two thousand different devices have reported M2M data at sea through CargoGSM on more than a dozen different container ships. We're very excited and expect to have more news about CargoGSM soon!
We've updated our network to support high-quality, low-bandwidth calling with regular analog telephone adapters (ATAs). This service can be used both at sea and also on land. Regular VoIP uses about three times as much bandwidth and sounds worse on congested Internet links with packet loss. ATAs don't normally support FEC, so the VobalFEC solution is unique and will make a big improvement in call quality. Here is more information, including an offer for a free trial, so you can easily hear the difference!
We're still keeping a little quiet about CargoGSM, but we couldn't pass up an opportunity to tease it a little in the August/September issue of Marine Electronics and Communications. There's an ad and article about it that we think do a pretty good job with the basics. Full public release coming soon, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, drop us a line.
We think it's pretty clever. What do you think? The ad appeared in the Complete Guide to VSAT 2012 supplement to Marine Electronics and Communications magazine by Riviera maritime media. Note the article about us opposite the ad as well.
On-Net calling is a revolutionary new way for fleet operators to manage communications costs. One low monthly fee allows for unlimited calling between any two of our devices. Calling your ship from your office (and vice versa) is just like dialing an extension down the hall. Read the announcement.
We are very happy to announce not one, not two, but three new Resellers! On the S3 side of things, welcome to our old friends from Globecomm Maritime (fka Telaurus Communications) and to our new friends from Greece and Cyprus: Traffic Net Limited (TNL). Also, as we continue to expand our relationship with GMN and support their sales of the wXa-503, we have also signed up GMPCS as a reseller of the Vobal services provided through GMN's web accelerator device. Welcome everyone!
We're thrilled to welcome both GMN (see above) and QWP Group as S3 Service Resellers! We look forward to helping them help you.
With a lower up-front cost, the S2 Server is a perfect entry-level way to experience Vobal's VoIP technology on board your vessel. Reduce your operations calling costs (especially shore-to-ship) and provide an inexpensive way for crew members to contact home. The only thing better is the S3.
Inmarsat has included product descriptions and guides for Vobal's S3 maritime GSM and S2 VoIP systems (big S2 announcement coming soon) on Inmarsat's website. Um, yeah, we're pretty darn excited about it!
We are very excited to announce that we hired Maritime Satellite Sales Superstar Walter Kane to be our VP of Sales! He brings a new level of maritime expertise to our team that will truly make us leaders in our field. Welcome Walter!
We've been working very hard to improve our technology. We've gotten our bandwidth usage so low that we've been able to radically reduce pricing across the board for those who want a reimbursement for bandwidth! We've also taken the opportunity to look at our A-Z pricing globally and have made some adjustments. Some costs from our suppliers have gone up, but some have gone down. Our prices to you reflect that. We think all-in-all you'll be pretty pleased.
We presented today at the Innovate Illinois competition as semi-finalists. While we did not advance to the final round, it was an honor to be selected to the semi-final round (top 16 out of the 62 entries in our region). Congratulations to the companies that advanced and good luck!