Editor Martyn Wingrove reveals why this year’s MEC Ship of the Year blazes a trail for the future in ship satcoms
We were so impressed with the satellite communications capabilities of MSC Cruises’ new flagship MSC Meraviglia that we had to name it as the Marine Electronics & Communications’ Ship of the Year.
It was the clear winner because of the way the ship broke the bandwidth-at-sea record in June this year.
MSC Cruises ramped up the cruise ship’s satellite communications to 300 Mbps on its maiden voyage for passengers, crew and media.
The connectivity was used for video, data and voice services to and from the ship during this particular voyage along the Atlantic coast and into the Mediterranean following the ship’s christening at STX France shipyard.
Marlink provided its Sealink VSAT service using spot beams of high throughput Ku-band from Intelsat’s Epic NG satellites, while iDirect supplied a stacked series of modems.
This is a trail-blazer for high throughput satcoms on cruise ships and something that other passenger shipping companies will be looking to emulate. It also highlights the general maritime trend of higher throughput that is increasingly required in commercial shipping.
Full details of the ship’s satellite communications, entertainment and digital passenger services are in the latest issue of Marine Electronics & Communications that is available now. We also feature the MEC Ship of the Year runners up that includes a brand new shuttle tanker, an Arctic-class LNG carrier, an innovative deepwater construction support vessel and a new offshore renewables service ship.
All these demonstrate that there continues to be innovations in bridge and automation technology, but MSC Meraviglia is blazing the trail for maritime connectivity.