Joining our interview series is another industry veteran Jerry Brown, Technical Director of Hengtong Marine Cable Systems. Having worked in the subsea cable industry for over 30 years, Jerry’s career ranges from stints in R&D with TL (with STC Submarine Systems), Marine Operations with ASN and Technical Project Management with JDR Umbilical Systems. Since joining Hengtong Marine three years ago with the responsibility for Product Development, Product Quality and Technical Support for engineering solutions, the company has grown steadily and gained traction in the subsea cable industry.

Interview with Jerry Brown, Hengtong Marine Cable Systems
Interview with Jerry Brown, Hengtong Marine Cable Systems

Hengtong Marine works in four different subsea industries, Power Cables, Telecom Systems, Umbilical Systems and Scientific Networks, each with their own challenges and design solutions.  In the last 12 months the company has successfully delivered 3 international cable system orders (for Comoros, Maldives and Belize) and has completed a 30 day comprehensive sea trial on 3 repeatered &  1 unrepeatered cable systems.

We caught up with Jerry briefly before he joins us at Submarine Networks World 2017 in Singapore later this month.

In one sentence, how would you describe the state of the subsea communications industry today?

Very Positive. These are exciting times for the subsea communication industry with new cables linking new locations and new clients having a very different approach to system design, operation and maintenance.

One of the key challenges for our Industry has to be the retention of experienced engineers and subsea subject matter experts.  Without experienced personnel the ability to create innovative new design solutions will suffer and it will be difficult for our industry to offer improved subsea system solutions.

How do you see the industry evolving in the next 5 years?

I believe that the best practices and higher standards used in other offshore industries including Power cables for wind farms and Interconnector projects, Oil & Gas projects and Scientific Observation Systems will have a positive effect on the subsea telecom industry.  A lot can happen in 5 years, so I would make a bold prediction that the focus of the subsea industry will move from Europe to Asia with the corresponding increase in importance of Chinese System Suppliers, Marine Deployment & Maintenance providers and Operators. We believe there will be a number of mergers and acquisitions between the current system suppliers (and operators) leading to a healthier and more competitive global industry.

What do you think is one key challenge facing the industry today? How do you think it can be overcome?

One of the key challenges for our Industry has to be the retention of experienced engineers and subsea subject matter experts.  Without experienced personnel the ability to create innovative new design solutions will suffer and it will be difficult for our industry to offer improved subsea system solutions.

Tempered with this, we also have to consider the aging workforce in the established Cable Industry Suppliers and how best to train and bring new talent into the industry.

China has a relatively young subsea industry workforce compared to other countries and so the long-term future for the Chinese System Suppliers looks healthy. Coupled with this, the investment in R&D, manufacturing, and marine assets shows the commitment Hengtong Marine has to become a leading system supplier of subsea products in the near future.  The four subsea product streams offered by Hengtong Marine (Power Cables, Telecom Systems, Umbilical Systems & Scientific Networks) also generates a lot of synergy and allows engineers to offer different solutions to clients within short timescales.

Why are you excited to be at Submarine Networks World 2017?

It is always enjoyable to attend Submarine Networks World, to meet fellow industry professionals and to meet the whole spectrum of companies with key skills and subject matter experts & personnel required to make our industry successful.  However, this year promises to be even better than normal with a great turnout of companies with various backgrounds from around the globe.  Hengtong Marine is always developing new products & solutions for clients and we are looking forward to discussing our recent successes and future plans with both existing and new clients at SNW 2017.

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Meet Jerry and the Hengtong team at Booth #13A at Submarine Networks World 2017 (25-27 September, Singapore), and also download their whitepaper “Challenges in Completing an International Telecom Cable System Sea Trial” to learn about their latest sea trial achievements in a bid to expand their international reach.

For more information, download the latest conference brochure.  We’re down to our final prices, but group discounts are still available, so get your passes here

Keen to learn more? Get in touch with the team:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +65 6322 2730
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +65 6322 2308

Source: Blog | Submarine Networks World 2017