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LGC Wireless Delivers Cell Coverage on Cruise Ships
Posted: 12-Jun-2006 [Source: LGC]

[Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of Cingular and Maritime Telecommunications Network, is deploying LGC Wireless' InterReach Unison system enabling "four bar" cell service on cruise ships worldwide.]

San Jose -- LGC Wireless today announced that Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), a joint venture of Cingular Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network, Inc., is deploying its InterReach Unison systems to enable high-quality cellular service for thousands of cruise ship passengers worldwide. LGC Wireless systems are currently deployed aboard some two dozen ships operated by the world's leading cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Island Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Orient Lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

By deploying Unison systems aboard these vessels, WMS enables pervasive, "four bars" cellular coverage for passengers and crew despite the challenges of the ships' all-steel construction. A typical installation brings in wireless signals through a ship-mounted satellite antenna, and then distributes the signal via Unison Main and Expansion Hubs plus roughly 60 antennas. Through its roaming partnerships with 340 cellular carriers worldwide, WMS ensures CDMA and GSM-based cellular services for any passenger anywhere.

"You might think that a cruise ship is the last place where someone would want cellular service, but it's actually very popular," said Rob Marjerison, vice president of deployment and business development at WMS. "In fact, many passengers won't sail unless they know they have cellular coverage that allows them to remain in touch while on vacation. We have standardized on the Unison system because it allows us to support any carrier frequency and is much easier to install than other systems."

Cruising is one of the most popular types of vacations worldwide, and the availability of cellular coverage is helping to spur business. Accordingly, Mr. Marjerison expects WMS to double the number of its ship deployments by the end of 2006.

LGC Wireless' InterReach Unison system simplifies onboard deployments because ships typically have little room for network cabling, and the Unison system uses standard, flexible fiber and Cat-5 cabling. This cuts the time and difficulty of deployment significantly over other systems that rely on rigid coaxial cabling, which can be up to 7/8" in diameter.

"WMS is expanding the cruise ship business by enabling wireless coverage anywhere at sea, and we're proud to be their chosen solution for shipboard coverage," said John Spindler, vice president of marketing at LGC Wireless. "As these deployments prove, our products can deliver optimum cellular coverage for any carrier in any environment, no matter how challenging."

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