Growth in expedition cruise itineraries and polar vessel traffic prompts agreement for fresh capacity to serve demanding niche markets
Marlink, the smart network company, has extended its partnership with Intelsat to offer increased Ku and C-band satellite connectivity to maritime customers in cruise and merchant shipping sectors.
The agreement will see Intelsat assign capacity to the Marlink network providing a unique level of coverage in waters as far south as Antarctica as well as ocean regions around Africa and the Middle East. Marlink will derive the additional capacity from multiple assets, including Intelsat’s high-throughput satellites.
As the cruise industry restarts its operations post-COVID, an increasing demand for digital services is driving bandwidth usage; polar cruise itineraries are growing, with specialised vessels operating in more extreme and remote locations, carrying passengers with high demand for connectivity. At the same time, vessel traffic including cargo, ice-breaking, enforcement, survey and supply ships is increasing the demand for high-quality bandwidth.
Marlink and Intelsat are longstanding partners in mobile maritime connectivity, with Intelsat supplying Ku-band GEO capacity to the Marlink hybrid network for over two decades acting as a cornerstone of Marlink’s hybrid VSAT network.
“Making digitalisation a reality for cruise operators requires a hybrid, ‘network of networks’ approach that combines flexible satellite capacity to provide a bespoke solution for each client,” said Tore Morten Olsen, President, Maritime, Marlink. “This agreement reflects Marlink’s ambition to meet user needs regardless of niche requirements in terms of connectivity, coverage and digital solutions required.”
“Intelsat has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Marlink over many years and this agreement represents a fresh chapter in serving more maritime and cruise customers in niche locations,” said Mark Rasmussen, Senior Vice President, Mobility, Intelsat. “Our large, global fleet of specialized mobility satellites and our ability to direct coverage where it is needed on demand mark us out as a long-term partner that integrators can rely on to deliver solutions that address their customers’ needs.”
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