news hardware Elon Musk wants to use Starlink to power the world’s largest ships
It’s official, Starlink will be taking care of Internet delivery for Royal Caribbean Group cruise lines. These are the largest boats in the world with very high connection requirements, a challenge for Elon Musk.
Starlink takes over the large cruise ship sector
A high-speed Internet connection is also possible in the middle of the Atlantic. The cruise group Royal Caribbean used Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite internet company. A partnership that enables all ships in the Celebrity Cruises, Silversea and Royal Caribbean fleets to remain connected, regardless of where in the world they are located. The icing on the cake is the low latency that Starlink antennas promise even in the middle of the ocean.
The first antennas are already arriving on the group’s boats and will be fully deployed by the end of the first quarter of 2023. Tests were conducted on the liner Freedom of the Seas and according to the cruise line, the results are more than conclusive.
In a press release, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Jason Liberty explains the near-term ambitions:
Our goal as a company is to provide our customers with the best holiday experiences in a responsible manner and this new offering, which currently represents the largest public deployment of Starlink’s broadband internet in the travel industry, demonstrates our commitment in this direction
Elon Musk confirms use on cruise ships
The first cruise passengers can already take advantage of the new Internet connection. The maritime group even assures that it will “allow more high-speed activities such as video streaming and activities such as video calls”. A rather ambitious promise considering the number of travelers on the world’s largest ships.
Elon Musk himself responded to the announcement with characteristic enthusiasm. So we can read: “The incredible internet is coming to Royal Caribbean ships!” Such rapid deployment is fairly unprecedented, however we wonder how much it will cost?
Special antennas for larger boats
Starlink has developed a range of multiple antennas. We find the living model, business, for motorhomes and finally the maritime. The latter is used, with planetary coverage.
The antennas adapt live to the movement of the boat. They adapt to always have the best possible connection. Allowing a speed that can reach 350 Mbit/s. In terms of strength, these are the same models installed on SpaceX landing pads. They are therefore resistant to rocket hits and crashes.
Already for customers, we don’t really know if there are any additional costs for using the broadband connection. The group has so far given this answer: “We are currently working on deploying Starlink. We will provide further updates and information as we go along.”
As for the price, we already know that every antenna has its value $10,000 upfront, with a $5,000 monthly subscription. We can imagine a preferential rate being applied, but the bill can still be salty. It is therefore difficult to say whether the cruise line will bear the additional costs.