SeaMobile, Inc. has acquired Maritime Telecommunications Network, Inc. (MTN), a provider of satellite-based broadband communications and networking services for the maritime industry. The acquisition has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“SeaMobile saw a strategic opportunity to combine the wireless and satellite expertise of the world’s leading maritime communications companies to completely change the way travelers communicate at sea,” said William D. Marks, Chief Executive Officer of SeaMobile. “Cruise travelers can take their own cell phones, Blackberry devices and laptops, read their hometown newspaper, watch live TV, access bank accounts through onboard ATMs and much more. It is truly a new day at sea.”
“Our guests have told us how important it is for them to stay connected with family, friends and business associates while on vacation,” said Robin Lindsay, Senior Vice President of Vessel Operations for Oceania Cruises. “By partnering with SeaMobile and MTN, we offer our guests a best in class service that will help us to satisfy their needs and extend brand loyalty.”
A heavy workload and pressures from the office are keeping many people from taking relaxing vacations on cruise ships. According to Mary Pace, Director of Corporate Accounts for GlobalStar Travel Management Corporation, “Staying connected is so important for my corporate clients even when they are planning a vacation. I can’t tell you how many times my clients ask me if they will have cellular coverage and Internet access at a resort, on a cruise, or on an island during vacation. It’s critical for business people to have those choices in order to enjoy their time away from the office.”
SeaMobile, a Seattle, Wash., based company, was founded in March 2005 by veterans of the wireless telecommunications and cable industries to provide wireless voice, data, Internet and other content and communications related services for cruise lines, oil and gas platforms, ferries, yachts, container ships, and government/military sectors. The company recently announced contracts with Silversea Cruises and Oceania Cruises and has since deployed wireless services on ships for both companies.
SeaMobile’s proprietary technology is a sophisticated IP/software based solution that works with any type of wireless phone (GSM, GPRS or CDMA) used by the customer when accessing the SeaMobile network at sea. This allows virtually anyone aboard any vessel at sea to use voice and data services available through their wireless home carrier, just as they would on land.
Worldwide roaming agreements established by SeaMobile provide transparent connectivity for wireless services and billing is provided by the home carrier.
Based in Miramar, Florida, MTN was founded in 1991 and provides broadband connectivity and related services to the mobile maritime industry using state-of-the-art VSAT technology. Services include voice, data, corporate Internet and Internet cafes, compressed video, digital newspapers, an on-board television network and automated teller machines (ATMs). With installations on nearly 200 vessels today, the company has achieved impressive growth in the cruise line, oil and gas, and government/military sectors.
“We are excited about the potential for SeaMobile and MTN to serve the growing demand for communication services at sea. MTN has enjoyed beneficial relationships with financial partners in the past, but our relationship with the team at SeaMobile is very different because on a daily basis both companies are engaged in developing and delivering best in class services for our common customers on a global basis,” said David B. Kagan, President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN.
Leadership for the combined entity includes William D. Marks, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of SeaMobile Enterprises, David Kagan, who will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN based in Miramar, FL, and Jack Donohue, a co-founder of SeaMobile and wireless industry veteran, who will serve as President of SeaMobile based in Seattle, WA. SeaMobile and MTN will do business under their respective brands.