Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

135 services and technical support – and each of those functions must be selfsufficient in communication,” explains Simon Maher, senior vice president of maritime and cruise sales at SES. “Demand surges can be extreme because passengers expect to run high-data applications like streaming, gaming and video calls, with no deterioration in the service.” In addition to being of paramount importance when it comes to ensuring a high-quality passenger experience, providing secure and always-on connectivity is also essential for improving the crew’s quality of life, as well as the safe, efficient and cost-effective operation of the vessel. Hence, shipowners must implement a connectivity solution that offers high data throughput, low latency, flexible bandwidth allocation and absolute reliability. To successfully deliver all those features onboard a ship, providers like SES must push the performance limits of today’s most advanced satellite communication technology. “SES pioneered the use of nongeostationary orbit satellites 10 years ago and transformed the cruise industry with O3b, so we know how to do this,” says Martin. “Our next-generation medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites unlock a new level of performance for cruise guests. Thanks to its high-throughput and guaranteed low latency, O3b mPOWER is delivering a superior guest experience at sea.” O3b mPOWER provides scalable bandwidth and coverage for forward and return path, and shipowners can choose services offering speeds of up to 1.5 gigabits per second. These services are backed up by extra capacity from SES’s geostationary satellites when necessary, allowing shipowners to operate their vessels with full confidence that they can always accommodate the connectivity needs of their guests and crew. “After a decade of successfully operating O3b in its MEO constellation, SES is in a unique position to meet the cruise challenge,” says Martin. “With the start of service for our second-generation MEO system, we will be offering SES Cruise mPOWERED that can meet the guest connectivity experience challenges. The future-proof solution offers guaranteed scalable bandwidth to meet the growing data consumption of passengers and crew.” Soon, SES will enhance the solution to further elevate performance. “We are working on product improvements that will completely redefine highperformance connectivity in the cruise industry,” says Martin. Photo: iStockphoto/baona