The agreement establishes communication capabilities for guests and crew onboard the two vessels sailing in the Baltic and Mediterranean; the Canary Islands; the Caribbean and Asia.
The TUI Cruises’ contract marks the first comprehensive cruise connectivity contract for Panasonic and ITC Global.
Panasonic claims to offer, ‘a new approach to connectivity at sea, serving passengers and crew, as well as communications for ship operations and corporate networking.’
Panasonic delivers communications to a wide range of mobility markets, leveraging a high-availability Ku-band satellite network that covers more than 98% of maritime traffic routes.
Installation and commissioning for the first of the sister ships, Mein Schiff 1, was finalized in March and the vessel successfully completed its maiden voyage in May.
Mein Schiff 2 is currently under construction at Meyer Turku shipyard and scheduled to be named in Lisbon in February 2019.
Equipment for both vessels includes 2.4mtr multi-band antenna systems delivering high levels of bandwidth to accommodate connectivity demands for both ships’ capacity of more than 3,000 total guests and crew onboard.
Both vessels are being serviced via traditional geo-synchronous satellites, with future consideration of point-to-point, microwave and other technologies as the demand for additional capabilities expands.
Leveraging Panasonic’s third-generation communications network, service is backed by high-throughput satellite (HTS) coverage paired with the latest modem technology, and includes 24x7 service monitoring and support from ITC Global’s Network Operations center.
Ian Dawkins, ceo at ITC Global and svp global network operations at Panasonic commented, ‘With this contract, Panasonic and ITC Global have a unique opportunity to further elevate the brand in consumer markets through maximizing the user connectivity experience, most notably for TUI Cruises’ guests – whether that’s through making it possible for professionals to manage work responsibilities while spending time away with family, or by enabling social media enthusiasts to share vacation highlights in real-time with friends and family back home.’
Matthias Fahrner, director IT strategy & competence at TUI Cruises said,’ ‘Panasonic’s extensive background in enhancing the passenger experience via its in-flight technology and entertainment solutions, combined with ITC Global’s similar depth supporting crew welfare and connectivity services simplified our service partner selection, as the synergies presented were a natural fit to best meet our requirements.’