SES and Starlink have partnered to offer a new joint solution called SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink, which seamlessly integrates MEO and LEO satellite technologies to provide high-speed and secure connectivity to cruise ships worldwide, regardless of their location or route.
The collaboration aims to provide cruise lines with a simplified end-to-end solution that offers multiple connections for resiliency and reliability. SES, with its decade-long experience in operating GEO and MEO-enabled systems for cruise ships, believes that combining its MEO service with Starlink’s global, high-throughput LEO constellation will significantly strengthen the connectivity and services provided to cruise lines.
The new solution promises improved connectivity for cruise ships, even in traditionally challenging areas such as Alaska, the northern Baltic, and Scandinavia. Chad Gibbs, SpaceX’s VP of Starlink business operations, expressed excitement about the collaboration and the unique solution it offers.
SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink is available in two tiers: Premium, with a throughput of 3 Gbps per ship, and Pro, with a throughput of 1.5 Gbps per ship. The Premium tier is designed for leading ships that require the highest throughput in the industry, while the Pro tier allows operators to tailor the user experience by matching the right application to the right orbit.
SES believes that the offered throughput is sufficient to provide a high-quality experience for both passengers and crew, setting a new industry standard in terms of throughput. The new solution will become available starting in the fall, with plans for rapid expansion in 2024.
Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises, and Virgin Voyages are among the customers already in talks with SES about upgrading to the new SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink solution. The pricing for the service is expected to be competitive, providing customers with greater value from the combined product.
To ensure consistency and optimization, the hardware required will be SES’s standard MEO kit, including Intellian antennas, and Starlink high-throughput terminals. The service will be split between SES and Starlink, utilizing the best connection for specific service requirements.
The collaboration between SES and Starlink aims to optimize the connection and simplify the management and support for cruise lines, ultimately leading to happier guests onboard.