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Oasis, Quantum high-speed Internet via O3b will be 'transformational,' Fain says

Fain - Oasis will have more bandwith than all other cruise ships in the world combined
When Oasis of the Seas' new high-speed Internet service with O3b Networks is fully operational this summer, the ship will have more bandwidth than all the other cruise vessels in the world combined, according to Richard Fain, chairman and ceo of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

This will be 'truly transformational,' Fain said Thursday during the company's earnings call. High-speed Internet is important to cruisers and will be particularly helpful in attracting millennials, he told analysts.

The Royal Caribbean fleet earlier changed out its legacy system, which had a download speed of 4 megabits per second, to Harris CapRock's system offering a five-times-faster 22 Mbps.

O3b Networks will multiply that many times over on Oasis of the Seas to a lightning-fast 500 Mbps.

The company positions its satellites in medium Earth orbit, at about 8,000 kilometers, compared to others that are 36,000 kilometers away. This cuts the data transmission time, or latency, from 750 milliseconds to about 140 milliseconds.

As earlier reported, the system is being tested on Oasis of the Seas with very favorable results, according to Royal Caribbean chief information officer Bill Martin.

The company expects Oasis passengers will be benefiting from high-speed Internet by early summer. Allure of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas are to follow.

If it's as successful as hoped, Fain said Royal Caribbean will look to roll out the system to other ships.