Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023
SES to Integrate SpaceX’s Starlink Into Cruise Industry Connectivity Solution

SES, a global satellite operator, has announced a new multi-orbit hybrid connectivity solution for the cruise industry in collaboration with SpaceX’s Starlink. The joint offering, called SES Cruise mPOWERED + Starlink, will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

SES will integrate, sell, and deliver the solution, which combines the advantages of Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO) and Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) technologies for high-speed and secure cruise connectivity. The solution will be offered in two tiers: Premium, providing speeds of 3Gbps per ship, and Pro, offering speeds of 1.5Gbps per ship.

This collaboration marks the first time a major operator has delivered a managed service using Starlink. The agreement was driven by customer demand, with cruise lines expressing a desire for a full forward and return capability, guaranteed service levels, and flexible capacity. By combining SES’s O3b mPOWER with Starlink, the solution aims to provide an effective hybrid service.

SES possesses onboard analytics capabilities that allow it to allocate applications to specific constellations, ensuring efficient utilization of resources. Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink and Commercial Sales, highlighted the challenges the company faced when collaborating with service providers and emphasized the importance of additional services such as cybersecurity and customer support.

SES claims that its managed solution will set a new standard for ship connectivity, delivering cost savings for customers by minimizing upfront investment and ongoing expenses. While specific customers interested in the solution were not disclosed, SES customer Carnival Cruise Lines previously signed a deal with Starlink. SpaceX’s involvement in the cruise industry extends to Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Group, American Cruise Lines, and Windstar Cruises.

SES and SpaceX’s collaboration is expected to meet the evolving connectivity needs of cruise guests, crew members, and operators, accelerating their digital transformations.