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AT&T Wireless to offer mobile communications in cruise ships
Posted on 17-Mar-2004 08:27 | Tags Filed under: News

AT&T Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN) announced that cruise ship passengers may soon enjoy the convenience of using their wireless phones while at sea.

The companies have formed a joint venture, Wireless Maritime Services, to develop and launch a communications offering that will rely on a combination of satellite and wireless services to provide the cruise line industry and its passengers with on-board wireless service. The joint venture will combine MTN's expertise in providing satellite services to the cruise industry with AT&T Wireless' expertise in delivering wireless services to consumer and business travelers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We look forward to our joint venture with AT&T Wireless delivering truly global mobile service to ships in international waters," said David Kagan, Chief Executive Officer of MTN. "Using this service, staying in touch will be as convenient for cruise ship passengers as pressing the send key on their own mobile phone."

"We will make it possible for cruise passengers to place and receive calls, use short message service, and access the Internet using their own wireless phones, just as they do at home," added Jordan Roderick, President of AT&T Wireless International. "We offer our customers the largest global voice and data coverage area of any North American carrier, and through this agreement we hope to extend service to the high seas."

AT&T Wireless uses GSM technology, which serves nearly 70 percent of the world's wireless users. The company has an ever-growing list of roaming agreements around the world, currently enabling its customers with GSM/GPRS devices to make voice calls in more than 130 countries and access data services in more than 50 countries. In addition, many subscribers to wireless carriers outside the U.S. can use their GSM phones to roam on AT&T Wireless' network when visiting the U.S. and parts of the Caribbean. These subscribers may also be able to take advantage of the new offering from Wireless Maritime Services.

The companies are currently working with several cruise lines and expect to introduce the service later this year.

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