When your ferries are running over 136,000 sailings a year, to over 50 ports on the west coast of Scotland, reliable ship to shore communications are critical.

The challenge

Deploying upgraded internet and telephony services to land-based operations can be a major task. But when the project also involves connecting a fleet of over 30 vessels, sailing up and down a 200 mile stretch of coastline, things get complex fast.

Caledonian MacBrayne’s new network needed to stretch from the north of the Outer Hebrides down to the South of Arran – the same distance as travelling from London to Liverpool.

The terrain here was demanding and created a wide range of site planning challenges. Plus, ensuring consistent quality of service across water can be difficult.

To pull it off, CalMac needed an experienced site provision partner to identify, secure and configure vital infrastructure locations.

The solution

Initially engaged by CalMac’s technology provider, Horsebridge, and now working directly with the ferry company, Cellnex worked quickly to meet the very specific needs of the project.

As a UK Critical National Infrastructure Provider and the country’s leading independent telecoms site partner, Cellnex engineers knew exactly how to overcome the challenging terrain.

Special environmental installation systems were designed to address the often harsh weather conditions, while Cellnex’s established Site Share solution ensured infrastructure could be deployed exactly where it was needed thanks to its extensive tower portfolio.

The result

With communications equipment now installed and managed on Cellnex sites, and integration with CalMac’s existing infrastructure complete, the company and its passengers enjoy resilient and reliable internet and telecoms connectivity on land and at sea.