From the high seas to underground tunnels, Royal Caribbean wants to make sure people get their Wi-Fi. The cruise line partnered with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York to bring free Wi-Fi to underground subway platforms in Manhattan and Queens.
The endeavor coincides with Royal Caribbean's first "smart ship," Quantum of the Seas, which is set to arrive in New York harbor on Nov. 10. In anticipation, Royal Caribbean is splashing news of the ship on billboards, screens and digital displays, just to be sure New Yorkers know about this.
Boasting "boatloads of bandwidth," the new ship will operate with "unprecedented broadband connectivity" using technology from satellite provider O3b Networks and matching speeds on land, allowing guests to watch streaming video, check email, share images on social media and conduct face-to-face video conversations--all in the middle of the ocean, according to the cruise line.
"It's a wired world, and New Yorkers expect to stay connected wherever they are, be it below ground or miles out at sea," said Royal Caribbean International Vice President Jeff Dekorte in a press release. "It was a natural fit for us to partner with the MTA and Transit Wireless to bring complimentary Wi-Fi to the city's millions of daily commuters."
This coincides with the completion of a major expansion of wireless and Wi-Fi service in subway stations, extending underground connectivity to 11 new Manhattan stations and 29 more in Queens, and connecting a total 47 million riders monthly. The completion of phases I and II are part of seven phases to wire all 277 underground stations by 2017; work has already begun to bring another 39 stations online by spring 2015, according to the office of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Transit Wireless was formed specifically to meet the MTA's requirement to provide a shared wireless infrastructure to enable commercial wireless services provided by AT&T (NYSE: T), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Sprint (NYSE: S) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) for New York City Transit customers within the underground subway stations and related opportunities. Those who use any carrier can access the free Wi-Fi sponsored by Royal Caribbean.
Commuters can select the SSID Transit Wireless Wi-Fi on their mobile devices and view a short Royal Caribbean International video before accessing the free Wi-Fi service.
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