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MSC Seaside smashes vessel bandwidth record with 580 Mbps link

MSC Seaside, the new bandwidth record holder in maritime VSAT MSC Seaside, the new bandwidth record holder in maritime VSAT Mike Louagie/MSC

MSC Cruises’ new Seaside class cruise ship has set what is thought to be a new maritime VSAT throughput record, achieving bandwidth speeds of more than half a gigabit per second via its Marlink Sealink VSAT system at its service launch ceremony in Monfalcone, Italy, at the end of November.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The ship will be officially named at a naming ceremony in Miami, Florida, on 21 December 2017, and will be provided with similar levels of throughput on the satellite system for its maiden voyage, Marlink says.

The 580 Mbps link on MSC Seaside is faster than the existing bandwidth record held by another MSC Cruises vessel, recent addition to the fleet MSC Meraviglia, which managed a then record-breaking 300 Mbps service for its maiden voyage in July of 2017.

Marlink provides connectivity services for MSC Cruises’ entire fleet, which between them have access to a dedicated ‘cloud of bandwidth’, the full extent of which can be shared among whichever vessels require connectivity at any particular time. Connections are established via Intelsat’s EpicNG High Throughput Satellites, in combination with the latest modem technology.

The half a gigabit link will be a temporary facility to meet extra demand from media and guests connecting to the internet on board as MSC Seaside heads to the Caribbean for its first journey, Marlink says. On completion of the maiden voyage, MSC Seaside will revert to the ‘cloud of bandwidth’ through the Sealink network alongside the rest of the MSC fleet.

“Working closely with our partners we achieved milestone throughput earlier this year for the MSC Meraviglia maiden voyage, but reflecting the potential in our Sealink VSAT services, we have been able to almost double the previous record for the introduction of MSC Seaside,” said Tore Morten Olsen, president maritime, Marlink.

“While these record breaking figures show what is possible with cutting-edge satellite technology, it’s important to remember that our network continuously delivers the highest throughput services for cruise ships on a daily basis.”

“The cruise industry will soon expect throughput in gigabits and not megabits, which is why we are pushing the borders of what the current technology can offer our cruise customers.”{/mprestriction}

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