Marlink, a maritime satellite communications provider, has agreed to provide multi-band very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) services to Switzerland’s MSC Cruises’ existing and future fleet of ships.
Currently, Marlink provides VSAT communication solutions for maritime and land customers operating in remote environments.
Under the partnership, MSC Cruises will be able to provide internet connectivity to its 12 existing ships, as well as other ships currently under construction, including MSC Meraviglia and MSC Seaside, when they are on-shore and at the sea.
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato said: "We are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and enhance guest experience aboard what is already the most modern fleet at sea.
"Working with Marlink, we are rolling out state-of-the-art technology to allow them to stay connected whether they are looking to share experiences and memorable moments, stay in touch with friends and family, need to stay on top of work emails or simply catch up with daily news."
The bandwidth, to be provided by Marlink, will be able to accommodate seasonal fluctuations, thus optimising the ‘cloud of bandwidth’ available exclusively for MSC Cruises.
Marlink’s multi-band satellite communications solution combines capacity on new Ku-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) and conventional Ku-band widebeam satellites.
With the new internet service, guests travelling across MSC Cruises’ 12 cruise ships will be able to access fast internet, including social media sites.
The latest upgrade is based on MSC Cruises existing VSAT network and includes new high throughput modems, and a network configuration designed to handle huge amounts of capacity from different satellite operators.
Marlink maritime president Tore Morten Olsen said: "Connectivity is today one of the most important aspects of the cruise guest experience.
"In order to provide seamless global access, with high availability for all users, together with MSC Cruises we are currently deploying the most advanced cruise ship VSAT network seen to date.
"MSC Cruises will be the first fleet-wide VSAT network to dynamically integrate ‘a cloud’ of satellite capacity, ensuring the availability of high bandwidth for thousands of guests, wherever they are cruising."
Marlink noted that the latest service improvement for MSC Cruises also covers satellite back-up services for MSC Cruises offices on-shore and integration of terrestrial services for better redundancy.