Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), a provider of cellular service to the cruise ships and ferries, has announced that it is continuing its strategy of aggressive expansion into the Asia Pacific by establishing a sales presence in Hong Kong. WMS will also be exhibiting at the Cruise Shipping Asia trade show in Singapore, in November.

In the wake of signing a long-term contract to provide service to a major cruise line in Asia, WMS Director of Sales, Dr. Clive Poole is now based in Hong Kong for the remainder of 2011, with the aim of identifying additional Asia Pacific cruise and ferry lines that can benefit from the range of services and expertise that WMS provides. According to Pool, WMS is already at powerful force in the global maritime GSM business, with over 140 ships under contract, mainly in Europe and North America. “The contract we have just signed with a major Asian cruise line now also makes us the biggest player in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific maritime GSM market,” he said.

WMS has over 500 roaming agreements with partners such as AT&T, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, and Verizon Wireless.  The depth and breadth of these roaming agreements, along with the wholesale pricing advantage that WMS enjoys, allows the company to provide its cruise and ferry line partners with what it calls “superior revenues.” And in Asia, WMS has an exclusive roaming agreement with China Mobile—the largest mobile telecommunications carrier in the world in terms of numbers of subscribers.

As part of its Asia Pacific growth strategy, WMS will also be exhibiting at the Cruise Shipping Asia trade show at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from Nov. 16 to 18, 2011, where they can be found at booth number A8.  At this trade show, WMS will be announcing further detail surrounding its new business partnership with one of the largest cruise lines in Asia.

Florida-based WMS has served the cruise industry since 2004. The company claims it provides service to more cruise ships than any other player in the world, including all major cruise lines such as Carnival, Holland America, Seabourn and AIDA, NCL and Disney Cruise Lines, as well as the Royal Caribbean family of brands. Based on ship count, on any given day, WMS provides services to nearly a quarter of million people on the high seas when considering double berth passenger counts and crew members.

WMS provides cellular phone at sea service onboard cruise ships and ferries. The WMS network allows phone calls, text messaging, and Internet access. Its wireless network is supported on land by CDMA and GSM backbones; at sea it uses VSAT equipment as well as CDMA and GSM support.

In addition to GSM and CDMA phone services, WMS also provides GPRS and EDGE data connectivity on the high seas, enabling smart phones to surf the web and access email.  Depending on the vessel, EDGE speeds on GSM data and 1XRTT speeds on CDMA data are available. WMS is also the only service provider in the industry with EVDO (the CDMA 3G equivalent) data technology in place on select ships, with service availability subject to roaming agreements.