SES links with Starlink for cruise ships
September 13, 2023
By Chris Forrester
SES is creating what it describes as a “first time ever” service for cruise liners. It is using its own O3b mid-Earth orbiting (MEO) satellites and linking with SpaceX’s Starlink’s low-Earth orbiting (LEO) system on a single managed solution for the cruise industry.
The joint offering – SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink – integrated, sold and delivered by SES – will combine the best of both MEO and LEO orbits to provide high-speed and secure connectivity 24/7 to cruise ships and their guests, regardless of their route and location.
Cruise operators will be able to use SES’s new offering that combines Starlink’s LEO system with SES’s MEO constellation to deliver a unique guest and crew experience by expanding existing capacity and reach. The solutions are available in either Premium tier (3Gbps/ship) for ships who wish to deliver the highest throughput in the industry, or Pro tier (1.5Gbps/ship) for the operators who wish to manage user experience by matching the right application to the right orbit.
“As a managed service provider that pioneered multi-orbit geostationary (GEO) and MEO-enabled networks and delivered connectivity services directly to cruise operators for the last 10 years, SES’s partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink to add LEO-based service into its cruise offering, demonstrates a joint commitment to delivering the best customer experience to cruise operators and guests,” said SES.
Investment in the cruise experience has reached new heights since the pandemic. Cruise operators are pushing technological and innovative boundaries, many of which are reliant on always-on, high-performance connectivity.
“At SES, we strive to provide a world-class connectivity experience for our cruise customers and deliver the same level of service they would enjoy on land,” said John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy Officer at SES. “By being the only one in the cruise industry to expand our unique multi-orbit GEO and MEO network to utilise LEO, we believe it opens new opportunities for us to meet the needs of cruise guests and crew members, and the operational requirements of cruise operators to accelerate their digital transformations – wherever they may be.”