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MTN doubles terrestrial broadband networked ships

Connected vessels can seamlessly switch between satellite and terrestrial connectivity Connected vessels can seamlessly switch between satellite and terrestrial connectivity MTN

MTN Communications (MTN) reports that it has doubled the number of cruise ships connected to its Terrestrial Broadband Network (TBN) compared with last year, and has tripled the number of regions where service coverage is available.

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Since the TBN service was introduced in Alaska during the summer 2013 cruise season, MTN says that several of its partners, including Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, have begun leveraging the new technology.

MTN has since expanded TBN connectivity beyond Alaska, with access points now covering the East and West Coasts of the US, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the United Kingdom.

The company says that, with the addition of this new service, its hybrid VSAT/Terrestrial network is now delivering approximately 10 Terabytes of data daily.  MTN also notes that it enabled more than 33 million internet logins in the last year. 

TBN connectivity enables up to six times more bandwidth for communications and content sharing on the ship compared with standard MTN VSAT packages, mixing disparate systems from multiple providers to work together for “smart hand-off and switch over”, seamlessly switching from satellite to the TBN.

The vessels to use the fastest data path available, accessing the TBN near and in ports, with broadband antenna tracking and stabilisation systems helping the ships to lock on to TBN access points in-port, with no impact to end users during the switchover.

Installed shipboard data centres run the processing technologies that then deliver internet connectivity during this process. 

“The reason behind launching the MTN TBN was to allow our customers to leverage a more practical communications ‘pipe’ while in port, versus costly satellite bandwidth,” said Brent Horwitz, senior vice president and general manager, cruise and ferry services, MTN.

“In addition, the TBN enables greater throughput on the vessel for increasing IT and corporate communications demands. This differentiator delivers higher internet speeds, a perk for crew retention and satisfaction.”

“Crew no longer have to get off their ship and spend port days online catching up with family and personal business. Now they can quickly connect right from their ship, freeing up time for them to better enjoy being in-port. This also creates an improved passenger experience.  Lastly, it generates further revenue for the operator.”

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