Aeronautical Communications

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November 20, 2012

From Ship to Shore- New MTN Network Lets Crew and Passengers Stay in Touch

By Shawn Hebert, TMCnet Contributing Writer

MTN (News - Alert) Satellite Communications (MTN) is known for its satellite solutions for ships at sea, and today the company has launched its new MTN Nexus, a next generation communications network aimed to deliver some of the most sophisticated computing and security infrastructure both at sea and in port.

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The network will offer connectivity and content in places that cannot receive wired or wireless networks, bridging the gap between land-based and sea-based connectivity. It will do so by integrating a hybrid satellite and terrestrial wireless network, a cloud computing-based optimization platform and exclusive hybrid solutions, all items the company says have never before been combined into one communications solution.

MTN has partnered with Intelsat (News - Alert) to help in the delivery of the data, resulting in a High Throughput Multi-Spot Beam (HTMS) with speeds up to 500 Mbps.

Senior consultant Simon Bull said that the demand for bandwidth will never go away, but the delivery of that bandwidth to a vessel needs to be simplified. Convention beams on the Ku-band can collaborate with MTN HTMS, allowing costs to be reduced while ensuring global coverage.

Using the new hybrid network, MTN will build an integrated shore-side and shipboard platform called the MTN ShipCloud, which will deliver faster processing and data caching. The final result, they said, is a more enjoyable at-sea experience.

As vessels move into port, its crew can switch to Wi-Fi infrastructure and allow MTN to reallocate unneeded satellite capacity back to ships at sea, increasing capacity for cruise lines. Crew and passengers can move from ship to shore and back on port days without experiencing service interruption.

MTN announced plans to expand its next-generation network to other key marketplaces besides the cruise industry, but did not give a time frame.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman