In a first among ports, SMP implements a RoIP system for improved maritime communication


The Port of Syama Prasad Mookherjee (SMP), Kolkata has yet again made another significant achievement and stood out among other major ports in India by being the first to implement an Internet Protocol Radio System (RoIP) which aims to improve maritime communication with ships, especially in bad weather.

The Port of Kolkata, which for the first time conducted a ship-to-ship LPG operation overcoming its shallow draft issues, today announced that it has taken another step forward by installing the RoIP system.

The system was inaugurated today by the President of SMP, Vinit Kumar, at the port’s wireless facilities in Subhash Bhavan, in the presence of Samrat Rahi, Vice President of Kolkata Dock System, Captain Amit Kapoor, Director of the Department navy and other senior SMP officials.

Port authorities have said the system is essential for the benefit of port operations as it provides long-range maritime communication vital for ships carrying cargo to the port.

The RoIP system will cover the entire Hooghly River estuary, from Calcutta to Sandheads, with base stations at four locations, namely Calcutta, Hooghly Point, Haldia and the Sagar pilot station. Thanks to this facility, ships at Sandheads can be communicated directly by radio from Kolkata, especially in bad weather, said the SMP spokesman.

Rather than transmitting voice data through traditional means – signals sent over a network of transmission towers and copper lines – the RoIP system uses the Internet to send data. It offers a cost effective way to interconnect radio systems and operators with each other and offers greater reliability.

According to port information, the port of Kolkata has mainly two approaches from the sea, one from the Eastern Channel and the other from the West. The eastern channel is used for the navigation of ships bound for Kolkata, while the western channel is used for the navigation of ships bound for Haldia. All vessels approaching Sandheads near the Eastern Channel should contact the Pilot Station located on Sagar Island identified as “Sandheads Pilot” and “VTMS Control”.

For their journey from Sandheads to the pilot embarkation point in Sagar, all ships are provided with remote piloting. Inaugurating the RoIP system, Vinit Kumar, President of SMP, said that despite being the only river port in the country, SMP, Kolkata has consistently maintained its pivotal position in major Indian ports for the past 152 years.

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