Panasonic Avionics Corp together with its subsidiary, ITC Global, has been awarded a four-year contract by TUI Cruises for connectivity services to two newbuilding cruise ships ‘ Mein Schiff 1’ and ‘Mein Schiff 2’.
This agreement establishes communication capabilities on board the vessels to serve both guests and crew.
Germany-based TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
ITC Global uses Panasonic’s global broadband network to deliver connectivity to energy, maritime and enterprise customers. Panasonic claimed to offer a new approach to connectivity at sea, serving passengers and crew, as well as communications for ship operations and corporate networking.
Claiming to operate the world’s largest, most comprehensive broadband connectivity service, Panasonic delivers communications to a wide range of markets, using a high-availability Ku-band satellite network that covers more than 98% of maritime traffic routes.
The TUI Cruises contract marks the first comprehensive cruise connectivity contract for Panasonic and ITC Global. Installation and commissioning for the first of the sisterships, ‘Mein Schiff 1’, was finalised in March and the vessel successfully completed her maiden voyage in May. ‘Mein Schiff 2’ is currently under construction at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and is set to join the TUI Cruises fleet in March, 2019.
Equipment for both vessels includes 2.4 m multi-band antennas delivering high levels of bandwidth to accommodate connectivity demands for both ships’ capacity of more than 3,000 total guests and crew. The high-bandwidth solution calls for flexible technical and commercial service with dynamic bandwidth allocation and space segment management.
Both vessels are being serviced via traditional geo-synchronous satellites, with future consideration of point-to-point, microwave and other technologies, as the demand for additional capabilities expands. Using Panasonic’s third-generation communications network, the service is backed by high-throughput satellite (HTS) coverage paired with the latest modem technology, and includes 24×7 service monitoring and support from ITC Global’s Network Operations Centre.
“TUI Cruises is recognised as one of the most successful cruise brands known for its premium, all-inclusive concept,” said Ian Dawkins, ITC Global CEO and Senior Vice President, Global Network Operations at Panasonic Avionics Corp. “With this contract award, Panasonic and ITC Global have a unique opportunity to further elevate the brand in consumer markets through maximising the user connectivity experience, most notably for TUI Cruises’ guests – whether that’s through making it possible for professionals to manage work responsibilities, while spending time away with family, or by enabling social media enthusiasts to share vacation highlights in real-time with friends and family back home.
“Our job is to manage all aspects of the communications solution so that TUI Cruises is focused on what they do best – creating a memorable guest experience on board. We take this responsibility seriously and look forward to continuing to work closely with the customer in delivering the advanced technologies required to make this possible,” concluded Dawkins.
“Panasonic’s extensive background in enhancing the passenger experience via its in-flight technology and entertainment solutions, combined with ITC Global’s similar depth supporting crew welfare and connectivity services simplified our service partner selection, as the synergies presented were a natural fit to best meet our requirements,” explained Matthias Fahrner, Director IT Strategy & Competence Centre at TUI Cruises.