MTN Communications (MTN) announces it is supporting Norwegian Cruise Line’s launch of the newly-Christened Norwegian Getaway with its advanced hybrid communications networkThis innovative network enables satellite and terrestrial broadband connectivity for higher performance connections on large vessels both at-sea and in-port.
With approximately 4,000 guests and 1,600 crew, Norwegian Getaway, the world’s newest cruise ship, is the first to showcase one of the most visionary communications solutions at sea today. While sailing in the open sea is a remote experience, guests and crew members don’t want to leave their “connected lives” back in port. Being able to share experiences as they are happening, and staying connected to friends and family while on vacation, are must-haves for consumers today.
“MTN and Norwegian Cruise Line are delivering another first, much like we did in the 1980s with the initial Internet access ever at sea,” said Chris Leber, executive vice president, commercial business development, MTN. “Since then, faster land-like connectivity has become clearly expected. However, the challenge has been staying ahead of demand, while dealing with the cost of adding more satellite bandwidth for guests and crew applications. MTN’s advanced hybrid communications network allows cruise operators to focus on their core business. When vessels are in port, they switch over to MTN’s Terrestrial Broadband Network, which delivers much higher-performance and speed. Norwegian Getaway is the premier showcase in how to address the insatiable demand for connectivity, speed and content.”
Cruise ships traditionally have relied solely on satellite bandwidth. The new MTN Terrestrial Broadband Network delivers faster, more efficient connections, enables access to applications and content, and optimizes corporate IT data. This allows people to bring their daily online habits with them to sea – including social media, infotainment, content and more.
Between 2008 and 2013, MTN managed a six-fold increase in satellite bandwidth requirements as a result of Internet, content and voice usage. Internet logins on the MTN network more than doubled to almost 33 million per year. Voice communications increased approximately 50 percent.
“Norwegian Getaway is one of the most technologically advanced ships all around, including how guests and crew can communicate and access content,” said Vincent Cirel, senior vice president and CIO, Norwegian Cruise Line. “For example, with MTN’s hybrid satellite and terrestrial network, we know our crew and guests will have the communications experience they expect, increasing guest satisfaction and crew morale.”
To support this new hybrid network, MTN equipped Norwegian Getaway with the industry’s most sophisticated software systems to maintain multiple types of connections simultaneously. It also uses the fastest data path available so it can access terrestrial broadband when near and in ports. A broadband antenna tracking and stabilization system enables the ship to “lock” onto an MTN access point in-port for terrestrial broadband connectivity with no impact to the end user during the switchover.
Key to this land-like level of service, the shipboard data center of Norwegian Getaway also is equipped with the industry’s most advanced processing technologies. Leveraging these technologies, MTN is delivering improved efficiency and throughput for Internet, television and crew calling services on the vessel.
“The MTN vision of dramatically improving communications at sea is now a reality on Norwegian Getaway,” Leber concluded. “This is thanks to advanced terrestrial broadband connectivity as the very first step. Crew and guests can stay connected, consume content and network during their amazing voyages.”
About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 47-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising, which revolutionized the industry by giving guests more freedom and flexibility. Today, Norwegian invites guests to “Cruise Like a Norwegian” on one of 13 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. Recently, the line was named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the sixth consecutive year, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” by the World Travel Awards.
The Company recently took delivery of its most innovative ship to date, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway on January 10, 2014. The largest ship to homeport year-round in Miami, Norwegian Getaway boasts 28 dining venues, including seafood restaurant Ocean Blue by famed New York Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and a branch of Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC series “Cake Boss.” The entertainment lineup includes Broadway shows Legally Blonde and Burn the Floor, and the unique dining and magic venue, the Illusionarium. Norwegian Getaway’s sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, was named “Best New Ship of 2013” by the editors of Cruise Critic and “Best Rookie Cruise Ship” by the readers ofTravel Weekly. Known as New York’s ship, Norwegian Breakaway is the largest vessel to homeport year-round in the city.
The Company has two 4,200-passenger vessels on order at Meyer Werft: Norwegian Escape with delivery scheduled in the fall of 2015; and Norwegian Bliss with delivery in the spring of 2017.
Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of the Miami Dolphins/Sun Life Stadium, The New York Knicks, Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert; and the official cruise line partner of The GRAMMY Awards and is an official partner of the Rockettes and Radio City Music Hall.