“The Most Exciting Months in Satellite History”
That’s how Brent Horowitz, SVP & General Manager, Cruise & Ferry at Speedcast, described the second quarter of 2022. In May alone, 51 major cruise ships returned to sea, including the fleets of Carnival and Royal Caribbean. During this period, Speedcast’s Unified Global Platform (UGP) added 65 new networks consuming 13 Gbps of satellite bandwidth, nearly doubling total UGP capacity to 30ps Gb.
His comment came during a Thursday Morning Conversation with Via Satellite editorial director, Mark Holmes. Joining the dialogue was Roland Hubati, Fleet IT & Electrical Superintendent at Cruise Management International, a management solutions provider for passenger ship and fleet design, delivery and service, and also a Speedcast customer; and Jo De Loor, VP Market Development and Strategy at ST Engineering iDirect, a satellite communications ground segment technology provider, which delivers critical technology for Speedcast’s UGP.
Roland agreed with Brent, sharing that his expedition cruise company has seen a tripling of bandwidth demand in the current return to sea and expects that it will continue to grow.
Where the Growth Is
What’s behind the growth surge? Brent noted that people now think nothing of placing video calls from their phones, consuming massively more bandwidth than a voice call. Major cruise lines are investing in enough satellite capacity and onboard connectivity to support 4,000 Wi-Fi connections. Jo De Loor agreed, saying that his company is seeing upload demand rising to new heights, making what has always been an asymmetrical connection nearly symmetrical.
Meeting that need requires much more than raw bandwidth. Speedcast’s UGP brings automated intelligence to managing satellite beams, adapting to satellite availability and merging multiple pathways into one efficient, high-performance wide area network. “It also takes smart network design,” Brent noted. “You need to have a Plan A and a Plan B to make sure we deliver the quality of service that passengers demand.”
Tune in for more expert insights into how advanced mobility is impacting the passenger maritime sector. In this episode of Via Satellite’s Thursday Morning Conversations podcast recording, you’ll learn about key challenges the industry is facing today and what’s critical to address for success in the future.