Following successful tests of the new iDirect X7 modem in August, Marlink began the complete rollout across the 12 ships of the MSC Cruises fleet in October. The higher bandwidth the new technology offers boosts data rates to create an online experience that Marlink said is comparable to terrestrial wireless broadband.
'Staying connected is increasingly important to our guests, so MSC Cruises wanted to enhance the on-board Wi-Fi experience by ensuring that more guests can get online at the same time,' said Emilio La Scala, gm, MSC Cruises technical department. 'The iDirect X7 and Marlink C-band VSAT solution secures the bandwidth and performance to provide stable services for both guests and crew.'
'Since we started with the first VSAT for MSC Cruises in 2003, MSC has always been an early adopter, committed to continuously improving the communications user experience for crew and passengers,' according to Antoine Lisse, key account manager, Marlink. 'Together we have introduced the latest technology and capabilities, and with iDirect X7 on the C-band service, they will have one of the most advanced VSAT solutions in the market today.'
The Marlink Global C-band iDirect service has been operational since spring on the new generation iDirect software, iDX 3.2, which is a pre-condition for introducing the new and more powerful X7 modem.
All MSC Cruises services using Marlink C-band, such as company headquarters and public telephony, GSM voice and data, and ship management LAN communications, are now routed over the X7 modem. iDirect’s latest technology has Adaptive Time Division Multiple Access, which enhances return channel performance and increases network availability on vessels under rain fade and satellite link degradation.
X7 is said to improve link performance significantly, enabling high-quality multi-user data connections for vessel management on C-band, and for passengers if the vessel’s Ku-band services need to be switched to the Marlink C-band service.