How Royal Caribbean Keeps Customers Connected - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
News
4/29/2015
10:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

How Royal Caribbean Keeps Customers Connected

Royal Caribbean Cruises is meeting modern customer expectations with wireless connectivity at sea.

Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Stunning Images
Hubble Telescope: 25 Years Of Stunning Images
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Modern customers demand constant connectivity. In fact, they expect it -- even on a cruise ship floating in the middle of the ocean.

"People want to stay connected today. They want to share," said Bill Martin, CIO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, in his presentation at this week’s InformationWeek Conference. Martin explained how adopting high-speed Internet transformed the customer experience and business model at the world's second-largest cruise company.

The typical Internet capacity on cruise ships is about 1-2 Mbps, a speed that makes it "worse than dial-up," Martin noted, when spread among 3,000 guests. Royal Caribbean needed to broaden its capacity in order to give customers the connectivity they wanted at a reasonable price.

It found a solution to improve Internet capacity through a partnership with O3b, which brings high-speed Internet to people without online access. O3b uses satellites that orbit closer to Earth, which have proven instrumental to Royal Caribbean's strategy. The cruise line found that it could offer customers Internet capacity 300 times greater, and six times faster, than its previous limit.

To test its new connectivity, Royal Caribbean conducted an experiment. For one month, it allowed customers and crew free Internet access without restrictions placed on usage or number of devices. More than 5,000 devices were connected during that time.

[20 Great Ideas to Steal in 2015]

It found that customers primarily used their connectivity for streaming media, which was followed closely by usage of top social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Traffic increased 450 times to those four platforms, said Martin, and millions of high-resolution photos were shared per week.

The customers' enthusiasm for on-board connectivity led Royal Caribbean to alter its business model. It used to charge a premium for few people to use the Internet; now, it charges little to connect as many people as possible. "It was a major point of guest satisfaction," Martin concluded.

Interop Las Vegas, taking place April 27-May 1 at Mandalay Bay Resort, is the leading independent technology conference and expo series dedicated to providing technology professionals the unbiased information they need to thrive as new technologies transform the enterprise. IT Pros come to Interop to see the future of technology, the outlook for IT, and the possibilities of what it means to be in IT.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2015 | 12:49:37 PM
Re: Cost
Jonathan, are you serious? $100 per day?! WiFi has been provided by all the cruise companies in northern Europe and the Baltic states for years now and at no cost. Many times I have worked from a cruise ship and got free WiFi, and it's very fast. Royal Caribbean is just catching up, with the difference that they are charging for a service that is provided for free by others. -Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2015 | 12:33:19 PM
Re: Security
Sachin, Doesn't all this make you want to do some personal research? :D -Susan
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2015 | 6:28:48 AM
Re: Security
impactnow, If they did everything right, they probably took care of security before expanding the capacity. No big company leaves security unattended these days. -Susan
impactnow
50%
50%
impactnow,
User Rank: Author
4/29/2015 | 12:22:01 PM
Security
Now that their capacity to connect has been expanded, have they addressed security of the access and the data transmission.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll