Carnival Corporation & plc will establish a new
industry apex in connectivity capabilities today at sea when it
attempts to make an unprecedented level of bandwidth available to
guests on board Regal Princess from its Princess Cruises
Using its newly developed connectivity service, MedallionNet, and
working with SES Networks, the world-leading provider of
satellite-enabled connectivity solutions, Carnival Corporation
and Princess Cruises will attempt to achieve bandwidth of 1.5
gigabits per second, the most ever delivered to a mobile
platform. The record attempt will demonstrate that connectivity
is no longer a limitation to cruise vacations. Guests using
MedallionNet have access to the internet at speeds that eclipse
typical land-based hotel connectivity performance levels.
"With MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, the extraordinary
experience of a cruise vacation is further enhanced by superior
connectivity and coverage - providing our guests who want to stay
connected with a connectivity experience that equals or exceeds
what they experience on land," said John Padgett, chief
experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "This
event gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that guests can
have connected experience that parallels land-based Wi-Fi, making
it exceptionally easy for our guests to share photos, videos and
messages about their fabulous vacation. Cruise vacations are
already the fastest growing segment of the vacation sector, and
eliminating any connectivity barriers will make cruise vacations
even more desirable."
As part of the event, Carnival Corporation will attempt to reach
1.5 gigabits per second as Regal Princess is off Princess Cays,
one of the brand's private island destinations, located on the
southern tip of the island of Eleuthera in the outer Bahamas. A
bandwidth capacity of 1.5 gigabits per second will give guests
unprecedented Wi-Fi access that equates to more than 6,000 users
concurrently surfing the internet; or 1,500 Netflix or Hulu
subscribers streaming TV shows or movies.
Since mid-November 2017, MedallionNet, a game-changing
connectivity service enabled by SES Networks, has been keeping
guests connected to friends and family, delivering consistent
streaming capabilities through unprecedented internet speeds and
bandwidth, pervasive stateroom signal strength and service
consistency onboard Regal Princess as well as on Princess Cays.
MedallionNet is made possible through an inventive array of
antennae, networks, equipment and configuration innovations that
combine to make the Regal Princess the only vessel on the planet
that is currently capable of achieving 1.5 gigabits per second
"MedallionNet puts to rest the notion that connectivity at sea
will never be as fast or reliable as your broadband at home,"
said Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks and Carnival Corporation
Global Experience and Innovation partner. "Powered by our O3b
fleet of MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) satellites, and complemented by
our GEO (Geostationary Earth Orbit) constellation, we are not
only able to exceed average land-based bandwidth capabilities,
but also able to set a new industry apex for guest connectivity
According to a study conducted last year by Ookla, an internet
speed test company, the average U.S. fixed broadband download
speed was 64.17 Mbps in the first half of 2017, while the average
upload speed was 22.79 Mbps.
MedallionNet download speeds can exceed residential service
levels, often eclipsing 100 Mbps, with upload speeds exceeding 60
Mbps. Mark Holmes, editorial director for the Satellite and
Aviation Group of Access Intelligence, will be onsite to help
authenticate the record capacity, and validate that MedallionNet
exceeds any disclosed bandwidth of anyone in the cruise industry.
MedallionNet is another development to emerge from Carnival
Corporation's Global Experience and Innovation Center in Miami.
It is the first end-to-end Wi-Fi service development formulated
to exceed guest expectations through "GuestCentricityTM" - an
initiative to enhance all aspects of the cruise vacation
experience by delivering guests what they want, when, where and
how they want it.
The system leverages multi-band antennas uniquely configured in
an innovative shipboard formation to minimize any potential
impact to guest connectivity due to seasonal weather or ship
positioning, and it fuses multi-orbit satellite bandwidth to
deliver superior connectivity.
By combining multiple sources of bandwidth with hundreds of
shipboard access points to achieve the highest capacity shipboard
network ever brought to a cruise ship, MedallionNet introduces a
level of service reliability and signal pervasiveness not
previously achieved on ships sailing at sea.
Pricing for MedallionNet is affordable and simple. Guests onboard
the Regal Princess enjoy unlimited internet access for as low as
$9.99 per day for one device when purchased for the entire
voyage; guests can save even more by choosing multi device plans.
MedallionNet is currently an exclusive feature of Medallion Class
ships - one of the latest innovations from Carnival Corporation
that leverage the company's interactive guest experience platform
capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly
personalized and elevated level of customized service. Brands of
Carnival Corporation utilize various satellite service providers
to service the nine brands connectivity and onboard TV services.
The activities surrounding the attempt to set a new apex for
bandwidth capacity will include a series of Facebook Live
streaming sessions as the Regal Princess is off Princess Cays.
The stars of Carnival Corporation's Ocean Originals television
programs will be on hand to put MedallionNet to the test on the
ship and at Princess Cays. Hosts will use their mobile devices as
they stream high-definition videos, play mobile apps, FaceTime
with friends and post video stories on social media - all to
maximize the amount of bandwidth use.