Princess Cruises expands partnership with SES Networks

Cruise line will gain access to the O3b mPOWER network to augment its MedallionClass ships
Princess Cruises expands partnership with SES Networks
Access to the O3b mPower network will enable services such as 4K streaming on the MedallionClass ships (Image: Princess Cruises)

By Alex Smith |

Princess Cruises has expanded its partnership with SES Networks and is the first global cruise line with early access to the satellite operator’s O3b mPower network, allow it to augment the connected experience onboard the Princess MedallionClass ships.

Following its role in the development of the MedallionNet wi-fi service for the Princess fleet, SES is now a fully integrated development partner of Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation unit. The company will be involved in the design, creation and delivery of connected guest experiences, technical platform development, intelligence and hybrid cloud and edge compute enablement. 

As a result of this expanded role, the Princess MedallionClass ships will be the first to make use of SES’s new O3b mPower communications system. The satellite-based system will allow the line to overcome bandwidth constraints and provide guests and crew with data rates of up to 10 Gigabytes per second and the capacity to transfer terabyte-size files. This will give operators a stable online connection at any location in the world that is comparable to those available onshore, enabling services such as 4K video streaming.

“The relentless focus of the Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation teams to create personalised, simplified and connected guest experiences inspired us to push the boundaries of the connectivity norm at sea,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks. “By extending and expanding our Premier Innovation Partner relationship, we are leveraging our unprecedented position in multi-constellation satellite networks and consistently focusing on delivering high performance and pushing the envelope of what’s possible.”

Princess Cruises will hold several events in 2020 to demonstrate the stability of its MedallionNet service. These will include the first sailings of MedallionClass ships on Hawaii and Alaskan itineraries and the global streaming of a vow renewal ceremony onboard Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Crown Princess.

“SES integration into the Global Experience and Innovation team not only provides world-leading connectivity technology and fuels OceanMedallion capabilities, but most importantly provides expertise that is passionate about creating amazing experiences through the fusion of creativity, story, connectivity and media across the world,” said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation.

Six Princess Cruises ships are currently enabled with the OceanMedallion experience, which allows for keyless stateroom entry, shipboard wayfinding and on-demand services, among other features. Three more ships, Enchanted Princess, Island Princess and Coral Princess, will also offer the service by the end of 2020.

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