Clarus Networks Group, the connectivity and network specialist, has chosen Norwich as the home for their new Maritime & Energy Division, opening an office based in The Penthouse, St Vedast House. Clarus selected Norwich as the ideal location for the specialised division given the area’s long history in excellence in maritime and energy sectors, with access to skilled staff.
The new Maritime & Energy Division provides managed wireless networks to connect the office to the ocean for merchant vessels, cruise ships, yachts, ferries and offshore energy. Many maritime operations struggle with outdated communications equipment and slow internet, so Clarus uses wireless low earth orbit satellites to improve ocean internet speeds by up to 300x.
Chris Schonhut, Director of Maritime & Energy, is heading up the new division. A Norwich local, Chris joined Clarus in July, and is a seasoned professional in the maritime satcom industry, boasting a stellar track record of delivering services on a global scale.
Headquartered in Scotland, Clarus’ second office comes at a period of high growth, with year to date revenue increasing 328% compared to last year. Other new hires to the division include two dedicated Business Development Managers and Head of Delivery, specialising in supporting maritime and energy clients. Alongside the new Maritime Division, the Clarus team has doubled over the past year, with 10 active vacancies.
Chris Schonhut, Director of Maritime & Energy added: “Joining the Clarus team means working with the most powerful connectivity technology available, and I’m proud to head up the new office located in Norwich. The East Coast of England is a hub for both maritime and energy, making Norwich the perfect location for Clarus’ new, specialist team. In my new role, I’m excited to be providing support for maritime and energy businesses, unifying connectivity systems to support efficient operations and promoting further growth of important sectors for the region.”
A key piece of technology for at sea connection is Starlink, a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite system providing high-speed, low-latency broadband internet services. Starlink Maritime users can expect download speeds of up to 220 Mbps, allowing for remote working and monitoring, plus video calls back to shore. This transforms operations, improving crew welfare, productivity and vessel management. To cope with conditions at sea, Starlink Maritime has specialised high-performance antennas designed to withstand extreme temperature and weather, ensuring that connectivity can be delivered even in the most remote, challenging environments.
Maritime clients include Valaris, Hughes Subsea Services, P&O Ferries, Stödig Ship Management, Ineos and SSE.
Derek Phillips, Group Managing Director at The Clarus Networks Group, said: “With 70% of the world covered in water, we believe that fast, reliable connectivity should be just as accessible in the ocean as in the office. Our new Maritime & Energy Division provides tailored and managed wireless solutions, and Chris is the perfect leader, with years of maritime and advanced connectivity experience. Clarus’ expansion with our first permanent office outside Scotland reflects a high growth period and ambitious targets for the year ahead.”