For the first time ever, cruise operators can now depend on a single managed solution to reap the benefits of low-latency, high-throughput satellite connectivity services that are enabled by integrating Starlink’s low-earth orbit (LEO) and SES’s medium earth orbit (MEO) services, the two companies announced this week.
The joint offering – SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink – seamlessly integrated, sold and delivered by SES – will combine the best of both MEO and LEO orbits to provide high-speed and secure connectivity 24/7 to cruise ships and their guests, regardless of their route and location.
Cruise operators will be able to enjoy SES’s new offering that combines the truly global, high-throughput service of Starlink’s LEO system with SES’s unmatched performance MEO constellation to deliver a unique guest and crew experience by expanding existing capacity and reach. The solutions are available in either Premium tier (3Gbps/ship) – for the leading ships who wish to deliver the highest throughput in the industry, or Pro tier (1.5Gbps/ship) – for the operators who wish to manage user experience by matching the right application to the right orbit.
As a managed service provider that pioneered multi-orbit geostationary (GEO) and MEO-enabled networks and delivered connectivity services directly to cruise operators for the last 10 years, SES’s partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink to add LEO-based service into its cruise offering, demonstrates a joint commitment to delivering the best customer experience to cruise operators and guests.
Investment in the cruise experience has reached new heights since the COVID-19 pandemic. Cruise operators are pushing technological and innovative boundaries, many of which are reliant on always-on, high-performance connectivity. This need is compounded by the growing expectations of cruise passengers and stakeholders alike to address the sector’s carbon emissions and comply with new maritime regulations, including CII and EEXI.
“At SES, we strive to provide a world-class connectivity experience for our cruise customers and deliver the same level of service they would enjoy on land,” said John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy Officer at SES. “By being the only one in the cruise industry to expand our unique multi- orbit GEO and MEO network to utilise LEO, we believe it opens new opportunities for us to meet the needs of cruise guests and crew members, and the operational requirements of cruise operators to accelerate their digital transformations – wherever they may be.”
“We are excited to collaborate with SES on a joint solution that combines the reach and capacity of both satellite constellations to offer a solution unlike any other in the market,” said Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink Business Operations.
Available Q4 2023, SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink will fulfil the growing demands of cruise lines to deliver a superior guest experience, optimise smart ship operations, and attract and retain the best crew. With its fully managed end-to-end, best-in-industry bandwidth and low-latency performance, the solution will set an entirely new standard for ship connectivity worldwide and minimise upfront capital costs and ongoing operational expenditure.