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MSC begins iDirect upgrade

MSC Orchestra will be among the ships upgraded MSC Orchestra will be among the ships upgraded MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises has become the first cruise line in the world to begin to roll out the latest iDX 3.2 software and X7 modem from iDirect, with the aim of optimising its VSAT communications with higher throughput and improved functionality.

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Following successful tests of the new iDirect X7 modem in August 2014, MSC's VSAT provider Marlink began the rollout of the new technology across the 12 ships in the MSC Cruises fleet in October 2014.

“Staying connected is increasingly important to our guests, so MSC Cruises wanted to enhance the onboard Wi-Fi experience by ensuring that more guests can get online at the same time,” said Emilio La Scala, general manager, MSC Cruises Technical Department.

“The iDirect X7 and Marlink C-band VSAT solution secures the bandwidth and performance to provide stable services for both guests and crew.”

The Marlink Global C-band iDirect service has been operational since spring 2014 on the new generation iDirect software, iDX 3.2, which the company says is a pre-requisite for the introduction of the new X7 modem.

All MSC Cruises services using C-band, such as company headquarters and public telephony, GSM voice and data, and ship management LAN communications, will now be routed over the X7 modem, which Marlink says allows for Adaptive TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) to enhance return channel performance and increase network availability on vessels suffering rain fade and satellite link degradation.

“Since we started with the first VSAT for MSC Cruises in 2003, MSC has always been an early adopter, committed to continuously improving the communications user experience for crew and passengers,” said Antoine Lisse, key account manager, Marlink.

“Together we have introduced the latest technology and capabilities, and with iDirect X7 on the C-band service, they will have one of the most advanced VSAT solutions in the market today.”


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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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