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In the relatively near past, it was the established tradition that the vessels, once they had left the port, were almost completely isolated from any type of communication with the shore. This situation continued to be true until the radio installation on ships have been introduced - we are now talking about the very beginning of the twentieth century. Since that time, the capacity as well as the coverage of communication between vessels and the shore bases has been evolving. However, it shall be noted that we are currently experiencing significant changes in this field, with the introduction of the digital signals - their advantage is that they are easily transferred from shore to the vessel and in the reverse direction, at quite significant rates and, what is very important, this can be done independent on the location of the vessel. In this document the editors try to describe the technical updates and developments as well as the implications that such developments can have for the shipping industry of the nearest future. Four major parts of the present DNV GL paper cover historical and current drivers, modern communication and future developments in this field, ship connectivity - how it will be in the future, and opportunities ahead...