MTN Satellite Communications (MTN), the leading global provider of communications, connectivity and content services to remote locations around the world, recently completed a major Wi-Fi network upgrade and expansion aboard two Silversea Cruises vessels, Silver Wind and its flagship Silver Spirit.

“With the new upgraded MTN Wi-Fi network, passengers and crew can access high-quality wireless Internet connections anywhere on the ship,” said Jason Cohn, manager of IT shipboard infrastructure, Silversea Cruises. “We believe this gives us a competitive edge in the cruise marketplace, and we will work with MTN over the coming months to roll out the Wi-Fi service across the other ships in our fleet.”

The new MTN Wi-Fi networks installed on Silver Wind and Silver Spirit provide high-speed wireless Internet connectivity throughout the ships, including passenger cabins, public spaces, outside decks and pool area, as well as crew quarters. The Wi-Fi systems leverage MTN’s worldwide broadband satellite network for high-speed data links between ship and shore, and incorporate state-of-the-art distributed-network technology from Aruba Networks with technical installation support by HMS, Inc.

“Today’s cruise passengers increasingly expect the same comforts and conveniences they get when staying in a luxury hotel or resort, and that includes ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections to send and receive emails, follow their favorite websites and update their social media pages,” said Brent Horwitz, senior vice president, MTN cruise and ferry services. “As the pioneer of cruise ship VSAT communications for more than 20 years, MTN is taking the lead in bringing state-of-the-art broadband Wi-Fi connectivity to the cruise industry to meet the ever-increasing use of mobile devices and demand for always-on Internet access at sea.”

With the completion of Silversea Cruises’ upgrades, MTN now provides Wi-Fi networks and Internet cafés on more than 165 cruise ships worldwide, according to Horwitz.

“Deploying a robust high-performance ship-wide Wi-Fi network on Silver Wind and Silver Spirit presented special challenges, since the ships’ dense metal infrastructure affects radio-frequency propagation in complex ways,” said Frederic Billardon, director of engineering, HMS Miami. “We managed to overcome the technical hurdles and create a ‘bullet-proof’ network solution using advanced RF engineering and supplying Aruba Networks thin access point technology.”

MTN offers a wide range of communication and IT services for passengers and crew sailing on the Silversea cruise ships, including MTN Worldwide TV, which delivers live television programming from major international news and entertainment channels to ships at sea throughout the world, added Horwitz.