MSC Cruises Advance Onboard Wi-Fi System

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 24, 2014

MSC Orchestra Cruise Ship (Credit: MSC Cruises)

MSC Orchestra Cruise Ship (Credit: MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises has started a fleet-wide optimization installed by Marlink to improve shipboard VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) connectivity. MSC Cruises said it is the first cruise line in the world to benefit from the iDX 3.2 software and X7 modem from iDirect. Their cruise lines will receive enhanced service delivery and performance, resulting in higher allowance and richer end-user functionality for ship management, passengers and crew.

After successful testing of the iDirect X7 modem in August 2014, Marlink began the rollout across the 12 ships of the MSC Cruises fleet in October 2014. The higher bandwidth obtainable with this machinery boosts data rates creating an online experience for MSC Cruises’ guests, comparable to terrestrial wireless broadband.

“Staying connected is increasingly important to our guests, so MSC Cruises wanted to enhance the onboard Wi-Fi experience by ensuring that more guests can get online at the same time,” said Emilio La Scala, General Manager, 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,” said, 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 operating on the new generation iDirect software, iDX 3.2, a pre-condition for introducing the X7 modem, as of spring 2014.\

All MSC Cruises services using Marlink C-band are now routed over the X7 modem. iDirect’s latest technology features Adaptive TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access), which enhances return channel performance and increases network availability on vessels under rain fade and satellite link degradation. X7 improves 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.


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