Carnival Corp. said its faster Internet service has become
available on 30 of the 100 ships in its fleet, and it is targeting most of the
fleet for such service by the end of 2016.
The Internet model Carnival is using employs technology to
allocate bandwidth between ships, or to switch between satellite and land-based
transmission to make Internet service more efficient.
Carnival said the new-generation service will be on all of
the 11 ships operated by German line Aida Cruises by November and is on 19 of
24 ships operated by Carnival Cruise Lines. It is targeting the first quarter
of 2016 to have the service on all 24 Carnival Cruise Lines ships.
The rest of Carnival’s 10 brands have been experimenting
with the service on a few ships. They will accelerate adoption of the new
services, said Reza Rasoulian, vice president of global connectivity and
shipboard technology operations at Carnival Corp.
“The biggest thing we’re excited about is taking all of our
learnings over the past 12 months and applying them across all of our brands,”
One big change is that Carnival is moving away from metering
Internet service by minutes, and instead is offering unlimited service for
certain uses, such as social media postings.
“We’ve determined that guests don’t want to be constrained
by time,” Rasoulian said.
Carnival’s leverage will come in building a large network of
ships using the system that can share bandwidth. “It’s about optimization and
really giving the guests what they want. We have more guests than ever browsing
and accessing social media sites, and they’re not restrained by time,” he said.
Holland America Line has one ship deploying the new Internet,
and Rasoulian said he was optimistic that HAL and Princess Cruises would have
more ships using it in 2016.
While he declined to give a specific amount, Rasoulian said
Carnival Corp. has been spending significant amounts of capital to upgrade its
Internet infrastructure. The increased connectivity helps not only passengers,
but crew keep in touch with family and friends at home during long deployments