Wi-Fi sets sail on leisure fleet using SES satellites

News

Leisure travel company Carnival is using SES’s satellite connectivity to offer Wi-Fi to its commercial fleet.

Called MedallionNet, the service will combine the wide availability of SES’s geostationary earth orbit (GEO) constellation with the high throughput of its medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites.

The service uses a customised configuration of multi-band antennas on the ship to reduce disruption due to weather or ship positioning.

It also includes a high volume of access points across the vessel to provide comprehensive coverage.

SES said the offering would feature “exceptional speeds and bandwidth, pervasive stateroom signal strength and unprecedented service consistency”.

Carnival is the parent company for a wide range of travel brands including P&O and Princess. It ships 225,000 cruise guests daily and 11.5 million annually, and claims around 50 percent of the global cruise market.

In January it launched the Medallion, a wearable device that identifies passengers to allow them to access services on a ship.

Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks, said: “As the only company to offer a GEO and MEO constellation, unmatched in scale, performance and technological diversity, SES Networks is uniquely positioned to enable the highest performing Wi-Fi connectivity at sea, as well as immersive media and gaming content.”

John Padgett, Chief Experience and Innovation Officer for Carnival Corporation, said: “Staying connected is inextricably linked to our daily life experiences and that now extends to the vacation experience, even when sailing in the middle of the sea. MedallionNet will set the new standard for Wi-Fi service at sea and we look forward to rolling it out to our guests.”

This year also saw Deutsche Telekom partner with satellite provider Inmarsat to offer in-flight Wi-Fi across Europe for International Airlines Group passengers.