Mobile phones, public telephones and internet cafÌ©s will soon be available on cruise ships and ferries. The initiative has been taken by Eutelsat which proposes new maritime telecommunication services based on D-Sat technology using Seatel receivers and transmitters.
The system was installed on a number of Brittany Ferries ships at the end of 2000 and is also used by the French government to enable GSM’s to be used on Navy vessels. Micro cell GSM interfaced with satellite telephone are also in use on a number of cruise ships owned by a Greek ship owner. The initiative was presented at SAT EXPO in Vincenza by Laurant Paul responsible for the development of telecommunication services on ships using Eutelsat. Laurant said “The first maritime terminal started up at the end of 2000 and now we have about 100 stations under construction. The development is secure because use of this technology gives costs which are much lower than those of previous systems and in addition permits point to multi point connections”.
A real GSM cell is fitted on the vessels in order to receive the satellite line which comes from the Luxemburg mobile telephone network. The satellite gateway is installed in Luxemburg to receive the traffic generated by the on board phones and to distribute them through the public network.
Laurant continued “the advantage of using Luxemburg derives from the large number, 200, of roaming agreements with Luxemburg”. That’s more than any other country. This permits any GSM user from any country to find a field on board.