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MTN and P&O Ferries bring Wi-Fi to English Channel

The Spirit of Britain is one of the vessels now connected to the TBN The Spirit of Britain is one of the vessels now connected to the TBN

MTN Communications (MTN) is to partner with P&O Ferries in the delivery of what the companies are calling “the first Wi-Fi hot spot on the English Channel.”

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This service is now live on ferries serving the P&O Ferries Dover-Calais route, which are connected to the MTN Terrestrial Broadband Network (TBN) in addition to having satellite connectivity.

Each P&O Ferries vessel now has a broadband antenna tracking and stabilisation system which works across the entire 35 kilometre English Channel, allowing the system to lock on to MTN TBN access points on shore and provide broadband services.

“Ferries traditionally have relied solely on satellite bandwidth for communications services,” said Ian Rabbidge, head of propositions, P&O Ferries.

“With connectivity demands exponentially increasing on our ferries, it was crucial for us to find a more reliable, robust solution. We need to enable passengers to stay online while commuting to work or to stay connected while enjoying their leisure travel. Just like in the office, at home or at a land-based resort, they want to stream media; conduct eCommerce; engage in social media; access online content; watch television; call family, friends and colleagues; and more.”

“MTN enables all this through its advanced communications ecosystem of hybrid connectivity, smart computing and an internet platform designed to enable today’s apps. P&O Ferries is proud to be first ferry operator in the world to showcase such an advanced communications offering to its passengers and crew.” 

MTN says that it delivers more than 12 terabytes of data daily through its TBN hybrid communications network, and processes 2.8 million internet logins per month. 

This new system serves 11 of P&O Ferries' vessels, and follows the launch of a satellite communications system on the P&O Ferries Irish Sea Route in December 2013, and on the North Sea Route in August 2014.

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