Cruise ships operators can boost connectivity for passengers and crew following the introduction of a new multi-band antenna
Intellian’s new-generation tri-band antennas will allow owners to use three bands of radio frequency to connect guests on their new floating cities to online interactive, social media and media streaming services over ever-faster VSAT. At the end of February, Intellian introduced the first of these, v240MT Gen-II antenna, for cruise ships.
This is a 2.4-m multi-orbit, multi-frequency and auto-switching antenna that can automatically transfer between C-, Ku-, and Ka-bands of VSAT connectivity, and between satellites in geostationary, medium-Earth (MEO) and low-Earth (LEO) orbits. This will be increasingly important in the future as more satellites with higher power are launched into MEO and LEO orbits.
Intellian’s v240MT Gen-II can link to geostationary wideband and high-throughput satellites operated by global constellation owners, such as Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat, using C-band and Ku-band. It can also use Ka-band on SES’ O3b MEO constellation and upcoming O3b mPower constellations and connect to the new LEO constellations being built by OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink.
Intellian chief executive Eric Sung said v240MT Gen-II will “maximise the user experience and network efficiency” across these new services.
“v240MT Gen-II sets a new standard for maritime communications, providing customers with enhanced features and higher performance,” he said. “The future-proof design and system capabilities ensure shipowners have access to the most advanced technology and a seamless and cost-effective pathway to new services as they become operational,” Mr Sung added.
v240MT Gen-II will be available with block-up converters with power ranging between 40 W and 400 W. It has an optional intelligent mediator to facilitate seamless switching between frequency bands by providing an interface between multiple modems and/or multiple antennas.
Intellian said this has simplified installation and commissioning and “allows best use of the diversity of a tri-band antenna by managing modems for all three bands”.
If cruise ships have two tri-band antennas, this intelligent mediator ensures seamless connection as it will switch automatically between antennas if one becomes blocked.
Cruise liners, such as Carnival Corp, Holland America Line and Royal Caribbean International use two, three or more tri-band antennas on their ships to deliver more than 200 Mbps, and in some cases over 500 Mbps, of bandwidth to passengers to improve guest experiences.