Arqiva helps Horsebridge to deliver ferry fleet connectivity

Horsebridge is a leading communications network and security infrastructure provider serving clients in various sectors, from military and government organisations to transport and utilities businesses. The company is based in the UK, although its solutions are deployed in more than 120 countries.

Recently, Horsebridge chose Arqiva as its site provision partner as part of a project to deliver network solutions in particularly harsh conditions.

The challenge

Horsebridge was tasked with delivering a range of networking services for its client, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) – a ferry company operating throughout Scotland’s Hebridean and Clyde islands. More specifically, CalMac required WAN, LAN, IPT and telephony services across its ships, ports and offices.

There were 32 vessels to cater for, along with 57 ports, many of which had no previous internet access.

Even for a company like Horsebridge, which has more than 15 years’ experience of providing such services, this was a sizeable task with various obstacles to overcome.

CalMac’s fleet sails up and down the west coast of Scotland, meaning any networks deployed would need to stretch from the north of the Outer Hebrides down to the South of Arran – the distance equivalent of London to Liverpool.

The chosen solutions would also need to work effectively in rugged terrain, with working environments both on land and at sea – all at the mercy of the elements.

To pull it off, Horsebridge required an experienced site provision partner to identify, secure and configure vital infrastructure locations. Enter Arqiva.

The solution

Arqiva worked quickly to meet the needs of Horsebridge and its client, helping to establish a complex but robust communications system.

To overcome the challenging terrain while maximising the existing infrastructure, the team carefully designed an integrated network comprising elements of radio, copper, cellular and fibre. Special environmental installation systems also had to be designed, with weather conditions making the process difficult for all involved.

Through all of this, Horsebridge relied on Arqiva’s established Site Share service, which ensured the necessary infrastructure could be deployed exactly where it was needed thanks to our c.8k active towers.

The result

Arqiva and Horsebridge’s network was successfully installed and integrated with CalMac’s existing infrastructure.

The end-product is now managed, and capable of providing a reliable critical service for the ferry company, its employees and its customers. It’s fully up to handling the logistics of running one of the UK’s largest ferry fleets, thanks in large part to the efficient partnership enjoyed by Horsebridge and Arqiva.

Adding to that, the project has been deemed a huge success by all involved:

Callum Dick – Chairman, Horsebridge

“This was one of the most challenging projects we have ever had to deliver, we appreciate the local knowledge and great attitude of the Arqiva staff that worked with us to deliver the network.”

Matt Wynne – Managing Director, Horsebridge Telecom

“The collaborative and partnership approach of Arqiva enabled us to deliver this much-desired network in the west coast of Scotland, at the height of the busiest period our sector has seen in recent years due to the 4G rollout.”

Nicolas Ott – Managing Director, Telecoms & M2M, Arqiva

“The provision of connectivity to Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) ferries on the west coast of Scotland is another strong example of people expecting connectivity wherever they are. We are very pleased to leverage our c.8k active towers to connect Horsebridge ferries customers during their journey. It demonstrates that telecoms towers are ever more relevant to a vibrant digital society.”

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