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Carnival Corporation has outlined plans to create the cruise industry’s largest Wi-Fi network and one of the world’s largest satellite mobility networks.
The company’s expanded WiFi@Sea connectivity network using more than 31 advanced satellite systems claims to feature the broadest high-bandwidth internet coverage in the industry currently deployed on 30 of its 100 ships, with further deployment planned over the next several months.
Passengers will be able to access websites, social networks and apps at speeds up to 10 times faster than those previously available on the company’s ships.
Carnival brands currently using the new features include AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line.
The company plans to expand the new system on the majority of its 100-strong fleet across 10 global brands throughout 2016.
New social media packages are already available on 19 of Carnival Cruise Line’s 24 ships with plans for fleet-wide implementation by the first quarter of 2016.
Global connectivity and shipboard technology operations vice president, Reza Rasoulian, said: “As we continue to enhance our WiFi@Sea system, we implement technologies, packages and overall approaches that will create the best experience and value for our guests wherever their cruise vacation takes them.
“We optimise all of our service layers continuously to ensure a great connectivity experience.
“With this approach, we are giving our guests faster internet speeds without constraining the time they can be online through our packages, which has led to more people than ever using their devices to connect while on our ships and a steady improvement in guest satisfaction ratings as the new plans and pricing are rolled out.
“We know that each of our guests is looking for something different when they cruise, whether that is being completely or partially unplugged from the internet or staying plugged in.
“For those who want to stay connected with their life back home or research the next destination on their trip, we are offering faster, more reliable and more affordable options to give our guests what they are looking for.”
The improved onboard connectivity will also help crew members keep in touch with family and friends at home during the extended amounts of time they spend at sea.