Carnival Corporation Expands Cruise Industry’s Largest Wi-Fi Network | Cruise News – Sept. 29, 2015
Carnival Corporation Expands Cruise Industry’s Largest Wi-Fi Network
Cruise News – Sept. 29, 2015
Carnival Corporation (parent company to Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises Australia, P&O Cruises UK, and Fathom) has announced that it has expanded its innovative hybrid connectivity system, WiFi@Sea, to create the cruise industry’s largest Wi-Fi network — and one of the world’s largest satellite mobility networks.
The system is a first-of-its kind solution that integrates a combination of advanced satellite systems, onboard software, networking equipment, land-based antennas, and Wi-Fi from port connections. The technology is expected to change how millions of travelers stay in touch during their cruise as guests will be able to access the web, social networks, and apps at speeds up to 10 times faster than those previously available on the company’s ships.
Currently deployed on 30 of its 100 ships, the system is expected to be extended to nearly 40 percent of the company’s fleet across several of its global brands by the end of 2015 with plans to expand the system on the majority of its fleet across its 10 brands through 2016. The cruise lines currently using the new features include Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and AIDA Cruises.
In addition, with new pricing models, Wi-Fi packages are based on the types of services guests will be using throughout their trip versus the previous system of charging for the amount of time they will be online. For example, guests who are only interested in using Wi-Fi to post to their social networks can purchase a basic package for a lower fee. This change gives guests the freedom they prefer for unlimited use of the specific Internet services and applications they are interested in without the worry of time constraints. (Specific package offerings and pricing structures vary by cruise line.)
“We know that each of our guests is looking for something different when they cruise, whether that is being completely or partially unplugged from the Internet or staying plugged in,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and shipboard technology operations at Carnival Corporation. “For those who want to stay connected with their life back home or research the next destination on their trip, we are offering faster, more reliable, and more affordable options to give our guests what they are looking for.”
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