The upgrade to JSATMarine service is intended to boost the speed to meet customers’ increasing demand for internet usage, especially at sea around Japan where cellular network cannot be reached.
Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, Ltd. , Furuno Electric Co., Ltd., and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation announced today that cruise ship “NIPPON MARU” *1 operated by MOPAS underwent an upgrade in March with SKY Perfect JSAT’s high-speed maritime broadband service “JSATMarine”*2 to further enhance its onboard passenger Wi-Fi service and internet access environment for operational use. NIPPON MARU is the first cruise ship to use the JSATMarine.
NIPPON MARU has been using satellite internet access service under the MOPAS, Furuno and SKY Perfect JSAT partnership since 2010 which was the dawn of internet usage on vessels. In 2020, NIPPON MARU celebrated the 30th anniversary of its services, and after undergoing a major renovation in the same year, onboard passenger Wi-Fi service became available on almost all areas of the ship (guest rooms and public areas). The upgrade to JSATMarine service is intended to boost the speed to meet customers’ increasing demand for internet usage, especially at sea around Japan where cellular network cannot be reached.
MOPAS Radio Room official said, “Cruise trips have aspects where you can enjoy extraordinary experiences, but when it comes to using the internet, it can be said that being able to access information at will from anywhere onboard, without giving you the feeling that you are on a ship, is ideal.”
Additionally, by taking advantage of JSATMarine’s significantly fast downlink (shore-to-ship) speed, it is expected to be used for always-on large data communications, such as internet broadcasting and video downloads as well as ship’s operational communications. This is not an easily available option on conventional satellite internet access services due to limitations such as speeds rates.
On NIPPON MARU, JSATMarine’s test service started in March and planned to increase its speed plan up to 30Mbps (shore-to-ship) and 3Mbps (ship-to-shore) in future.
A MOPAS Radio Room official commented, “We tried basic web browsing and felt there wasn’t much difference to the internet we use on-land. Looking back on history of maritime communications, we didn’t think such high-speed plan at a fixed price would be possible.”
For this upgrade, Furuno provided the JSATMarine service together with its VSAT equipment and technical support. As a marine electronics company, Furuno has been a long-time experienced provider of satellite communication equipment, but this was the first time for Furuno to provide equipment for JSATMarine service. Furuno conducted prior tests in order for its smooth onboard commissioning and operation, and also provides a stable 24/7/365 support.
*1 “NIPPON MARU”: Built in 1990. Ocean-going cruise ship that offers a broad lineup of cruises from overnight jaunts to around the world cruise. With more than a century-worth experience of cruise ship operation since the Meiji Era, trip on NIPPON MARU provides hospitality and relaxation of life at sea. Cruise guests enjoy cuisines, and many are repeating guests.
*2 “JSATMarine”: High-speed maritime broadband service provided by SKY Perfect JSAT using its own satellites and platform. Service coverage includes major shipping routes from Western Pacific Ocean region to Indian Ocean and Middle East region with speeds as fast as 50Mbps (ship-to-shore). For details, please contact SKY Perfect JSAT (JSAT-Maritime-Sales@sptvjsat.com). Furuno provides the equipment for JSATMarine service.