Picture this: A family of four set to go on a cruise. Dad must remain in contact with the office, taking calls and even a bit of video conferencing. Mom is streaming episodes of her favorite television show on her tablet, while the kids are keeping up their social and gaming profiles using multiple devices.
And now, multiply this by the thousands and what you have is the new reality of serving passengers aboard luxury cruise ships. In fact, more passengers are stepping aboard these luxury cruise liners than ever. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, 24 million passengers will travel via global ocean cruise by the end of 2016, up from the 20.9 million in 2012.
Consider it part of the unrelenting level of demand that comes as a result of being connected across every aspect of our lives these days. In fact, Northern Sky Research (NSR) says value-added connectivity services are becoming a bigger selling point for the cruise market than ever before.
And along with passenger connectivity comes the need to run safer, more intelligent and productive operations. Crew must stay connected in order to access a vessel’s entire IT network, fix issues remotely, run real-time weather and navigation applications, and provide telehealth. These applications require data communication back to shore and increasingly involve live video.
For satellite service providers, success means being able to satisfy demand on every level. As traffic demands surge and the number of devices per passenger per ship increases, cruise liners are upgrading their VSAT networks to support more data and higher rates of service.
According to NSR’s Maritime SATCOM Markets, 4th Edition, there will be 8,200 VSAT-equipped passenger vessels by 2025, up from 4,400 reported at the end of 2015.
When it comes to satisfying demand at every level, the new iDirect 9350 satellite remote is built to deliver. Targeted at the high-end commercial mobility markets, the 9350 initially features up to 150Mbps of aggregate throughput Adaptive TDMA performance with a software upgrade path to well over 200Mbps via support for Adaptive SCPC. When coupled with our new Universal Line Cards (ULCs), this creates a satellite ground infrastructure that delivers the next level of performance and functionality.
For more on mobility, check out the full All Apps on Board infographic.
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