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SES’ O3b mPOWER to deliver enhanced connectivity to cruise ships

O3b mPOWER will be a game changer, said Gregory Martin
Enhancements will be made by SES next year that result in ‘much higher throughput,’ said the company’s VP product management, maritime, Gregory Martin.

The first two satellites relating to O3b mPOWER – SES’ second-generation medium earth orbit (MEO) system – were launched December 16. SES states that the technology offers the highest, most flexible, guaranteed throughput, which will allow cruise operators to provide high-speed broadband access to passengers at all times. 


Each O3b mPOWER satellite is equipped with more than 5,000 digitally formed beams, and an extensive next-generation O3b mPOWER ground infrastructure.

An easily scalable ecosystem, it will initially comprise 11 powerful satellites, with the next nine being rolled out in the coming months.

Explora Journeys and Princess Cruises are among the cruise lines to have signed up for the technology.


The medium earth orbit system can upload and download at speed, explained Martin during SES' ‘The Future of Connected Cruising’ webinar earlier this month. Instead of being ‘a static system,’ it will allow cruise ships to make adjustments as demand changes with seasons.

‘Unrivalled scale’ and ‘even higher throughput connectivity to cruise ships’ will make it a ‘game changer in the industry,’ he added.

Cruise ship demands

Martin described the passenger experience as ‘very correlated to the connectivity that the ships can consume, a message received by SES’ cruise line customers.’

He went on to note that SES is seeing ‘cruise lines extending connectivity to their islands,’ with the aim of creating ‘a more frictionless experience’ that will enable passengers to carry out transactions using the system employed on board the ship.

Regionally, SES sees potential for its services in the Middle East and Asia where ‘there’s interest in building more terminals and ports.’ 

Asserted Martin, ‘We’re following the cruise line trends where they’re sourcing guests.’ 

The company works with six operators to date.

TAGS: connectivity