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Norwegian cruise line first to offer onboard mobile phone service
Posted on 18-Aug-2004 21:55. | Tags Filed under: News.

NCL Corporation has announced that it will be the first cruise line to bring passengers on North American cruises the ability to use their mobile phones on board its ships. The company is providing the new service through Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of AT&T Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), announced earlier this year.

NCL seems to have been a pioneer in high seas technology. The industry's first Internet access on the high seas was established in 1999 with its Internet café service on board. In 2002, NCL started offering Wi-Fi services to its guests. Both services are now standard throughout NCL's entire fleet.

The new technology is expected to be introduced on the Norwegian Sun from September, and could be available fleet-wide within a year. The offering combines satellite and wireless services, enabling passengers to make and receive calls on their own cell phones with their own phone numbers while in international waters.

The service will be available to most passengers with GSM phones that operate at 900 MHz and 1900 MHz. These passengers will be able to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, the planned offering will enable passengers with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices to access data services, such as email and picture messaging. Passengers will be billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier, just as if they were roaming on land instead of at sea.

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