Moby & Toremar Ferries

Transportation- whether land, sea or even air has been picking up speed in providing Wi-Fi hotspot access for its passengers. Moby S.p.A, the leading Italian passenger shipping company serving the stunning trio of islands – Elba, Sardinia and Corsica- is no different.

They needed to find a way to load balance between multiple LTE connections, provide quality and easy to use Internet access to 2000 passengers (per vessel), and collect user insight all from a simple interface.

“We can’t thank Know IT enough for their technical expertise and Peplink for their flexible technology.” – Diego Savarese. System Administrator, Moby S.p.A.

During the 2014 Sicurezza event, Peplink Partner Know IT Srl proposed a solution to Moby. The plan was to deploy a single MAX HD2 to load-balance multiple LTE connections and then to install AP One In-Wall and AP One Flex 300M access points to cover both indoor and outdoor areas of the vessel with a custom-made external captive portal. All devices would then be registered to InControl 2 for easy cloud management as well as real-time fleet tracking.

Incontrol 2 SD-WAN Controller
Incontrol 2 SD-WAN Controller Incontrol 2 SD-WAN Controller Incontrol 2 SD-WAN Controller

“InControl 2’s has been really useful in keeping everything under control. Simply monitoring data traffic and fleet location in real time means a world of difference to us as an operator.” – Francesco Savari. System Administrator, Toremar.

Everything proceeded as planned. Because of Peplink’s intelligent load balancing, Moby could fine-tune how traffic is distributed across the multiple LTE connections. AP One In-Wall provided a form-factor suitable for the interiors of the vessels and provided Power over Ethernet (PoE) where equipment such as security cameras could draw power from. Passengers now enjoy reliable Wi-Fi Internet and can gain access to the Internet through a multilingual and easy to use captive portal. Moby is able to gain passenger insights such as demographics or even their physical on the vessel. The result is the introduction of Marmorica – Italy’s first “smart ferry”. The first of its kind to provide free, quality Wi-Fi to passengers together with fleet-tracking and user insight on the back-end.

cellular antenna Pepwave AP One Flex Pepwave MAX HD4 Pepwave MAX HD cellular antenna Pepwave MAX HD4

“The intelligent captive portal gives us deep insights into our passengers and is extremely beneficial to our business strategy.” – Andrea Costanzo. System Administrator, Moby S.p.A.

The first phase of the project saw the solution roll out to 4 fast cruise ferries, 1 cruise ferry and 3 small ferries belonging to Moby S.p.A themselves. Toremar, Moby’s subsidiary, saw the same deployment to 6 of its ferries, including the aforementioned Marmorica smart ferry.

“Nowadays the first thing a passenger asks while boarding is if there is Wi-Fi. With Peplink APs we were able to meet and ensure a fast and reliable connection to all our customers.” – Luke Biancheria. System Administrator, Toremar.

The second phase of the project will involve WAN Virtualization, forming a secure VPN network between the ferries and HQ using a high availability pairing of Peplink Balance 710 to consolidate the network infrastructure for streamlined remote management.

“The Peplink and Know IT solution works flawlessly. We had no idea our plan to manage and load balance traffic could work this well. We care about customer satisfaction…and our customers are very satisfied!” – Giovanni Savarese. Chief Information Officer, Moby S.p.A.