CommuniCations Passengers on the Norwegian Breakaway will have improved connectivity with MTN’s new iDirect X7 high-performance satellite modem Meeting coMMunications deMand Bandwidth upgrade helps cruise lines, government agencies keep passengers and crew connected Compiled by Marine Log Staff L et’s face it, people are attached to their smartphones. Whether it is on the bus, at the mall or in the movies, people can’t get enough Facetime, photos or e-mail. And, they certainly don’t want to do without their smartphones when they are on vacation, even if it is at sea. Luxury cruise brand Crystal Cruises has recognized this. It recently announced that it would include Free WiFi to Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests, beginning fa l l 2014. The WiFi service will be provided by satellite and communications provider MTN Communications, Miramar, FL. Effective with Crystal Serenity’s September 19 New England/Canada sailing and Crystal Symphony’s October 15 Panama Canal cruise, each Crystal Society guest will receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise. Society members can use the new complimentary access time wirelessly via iPad, iPhone, laptop or other wireless device or on Crystal’s own Computer University@ Sea 27 in dual-compatible iMac computers. 30 MARINE LOG February 2014 And thanks-to a recent multi-million dollar Wi-Fi upgrade, which includes the addition of 300 access points on each Crystal Cruises ship, guests will be able to enjoy maximum onboard connectivity. “We are continually refining our all-inclusive experience to offer an array of choices for our global guests. Since the majority of our guests are repeaters, we opted to expand our Crystal Society offerings to thank our loyal patrons,” says Edie Bornstein, Crystal’s President. “Whether they are on board for a second 10-day getaway or on their 20th time for an expansive 108-day World Cruise, travelers today appreciate staying plugged in. By adding this coveted perk to our all-inclusive experience, repeat cruisers in all stateroom and suite categories have one more reason to choose Crystal as their home base while traveling the world in the finest of luxury and ease.” The company has spent more than a year implementing improvements to the onboa rd i nternet ex perience on bot h s h ips — i nc lud i ng m a x i m i z i ng s ate llite bandwidth, which allows for more users and more content to stream simultaneously; expanding Wi-Fi signal range throughout the ship; and providing the ability to access the internet in parts of the world previously unavailable. NCL and MTN bring high performance iDirect X7 to cruise ship Meanwhile, Nor wegian Cruise Line is keeping its promise of delivering “a n unparalleled connectivity experience to its’ passengers and crew.” That’s because the cruise line and MTN Communications have joined forces to produce the new iDirect X7 high-performance satellite modem on NCL’s Norwegian Breakaway. The installation of the X7 on the 1,068 ft, 3,969-passenger ship has improved the efficiency and throughput of the vessel’s communication system, with speeds reaching up to 100 Mbps. The X7 is optimized for MTN’s hight hroug hput mu lt i-spotbea m (HTMS) satellite platform, which will be launched next year. Its efficiency is achieved through advanced adaptive modulation techniques.