Panasonic to Provide Connectivity Services for TUI Cruises
Panasonic Avionics, in partnership with its subsidiary ITC Global, was awarded a four-year contract by TUI Cruises for connectivity services to two new-build cruise ships, Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2. The agreement establishes communication capabilities onboard the vessels serving guests and crew, enhancing the user experience during the cruise line’s travels across international waters. Germany-based TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises. TUI Cruises voyages sail across the globe including the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, and greater Asia, with various channels in-between.
As a Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global leverages Panasonic’s global broadband network to deliver connectivity to energy, maritime, and enterprise customers. Panasonic offers a new approach to connectivity at sea, serving passengers and crew, as well as communications for ship operations and corporate networking, according to the release. Panasonic’s broadband connectivity service delivers communications to a wide range of mobility markets, leveraging a high-availability Ku-band satellite network that covers more than 98 percent of maritime traffic routes.
The award by TUI Cruises marks the first comprehensive cruise connectivity contract for Panasonic and ITC Global. Installation and commissioning for the first of the sister ships, Mein Schiff 1, was finalized in March and the vessel successfully completed its maiden voyage in May. Mein Schiff 2 is currently under construction at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and set to join the TUI Cruises fleet in March 2019. Equipment for both vessels includes 2.4-meter multi-band antenna systems delivering high levels of bandwidth to accommodate connectivity demands for both ships’ capacity of more than 3,000 total guests and crew onboard. 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 Orbit (GEO) satellites, with future consideration of point-to-point, microwave, and other technologies as the demand for additional capabilities expands. Leveraging Panasonic’s third-generation communications network, service is backed by High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) coverage paired with the latest modem technology, and includes constant service monitoring and support from ITC Global’s Network Operations Center.