Maritime Communications Partner (MCP), the leading provider of global onboard communications to cruise and ferry vessels, has announced an extension of the existing agreement with the Naples-based Grimaldi Group which operates ferry services under the Grimaldi Lines and Minoan Lines brand to provide wireless mobile services and systems on the MV Cruise Olympia and the MV Florencia. The deal marks MCP’s fifth contract in the important Italian market.

MCP’s contract with the Grimaldi Group – which provides ferry services in Italy, Greece and other countries in the Mediterranean, covers GSM and GPRS services on the MV “Cruise Olympia” and the MV “Florencia”. The turnkey delivery includes the network equipment and services, engineering and product management, network design, system integration and operations.

Win-win
The Grimaldi Group having considered other maritime communications firms awarded the contract to MCP, due to their trust in the company, MCP’s references, reliability, functionality and reputation as a part of Telenor ASA, one of the world’s largest mobile telephone operators.

For the Grimaldi Group, the contract represents first and foremost an upgrade of its customer offering. “Grimaldi has been looking to round out its passenger service package to go with their fast and punctual ships,” says Bernt Fanghol, MCP’s CMO and VP Sales and Marketing. “The addition of mobile communications represents a true step up. While the products from MCP can provide an extra profit stream for Grimaldi, the company is much more concerned with providing a full range of passenger value-added services.” 

As for MCP, this agreement further strengthens the foothold in the Italian market, one which it sees as increasingly important in the years to come. “This is a real milestone – and one that we’re happy to have reached with a ferry operator as distinguished as the Grimaldi Group,” says Pål Bjørdal, President and CEO of MCP.  “All of the work we’ve put into this deal, including the lengthy authorisation processes with Italian officials to ensure that we fulfil regulatory requirements in the region, can now be put to use for future deals as well.”

Indeed, MCP is already beginning to see the benefits of its experience with Grimaldi Lines in other dealings with Italian shipowners. “The Grimaldi contract shows that we have the proper products, approvals and cooperative partners like VBS Italy to succeed in the region, and the synergies are catapulting us further ahead,” Bjørdal says.