How Royal Caribbean Keeps Customers Connected - InformationWeek

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How Royal Caribbean Keeps Customers Connected

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2015 | 1:21:18 PM
Re: Cost
@Susan: Yes!  Or even more!  Here is the list of prices on RC's website:

The cost for Wi-Fi access through your own laptop is:
The basic rate is USD 0.65 per minute or choose from one of our pre-paid packages:
US$35.00 for 60 minutes
US$55.00 for 100 minutes
US$75.00 for 150 minutes
US$100.00 for 250 minutes
US$150.00 for 500 minutes
All prices are subject to change without notice.
The Internet Cafe/Workstation
These stations provide access to e-mail and the Internet, plus direct connections to favourite websites for stock market, sports and entertainment updates. You can also send virtual postcards while at sea, and in ports-of-call worldwide. If you don't have an e-mail account, you can also establish one on board.
The cost is USD 0.65 per minute or you can choose a pre-paid package:
US$35.00 for 60 minutes
US$55.00 for 100 minutes
US$75.00 for 150 minutes
US$100.00 for 250 minutes
US$150.00 for 500 minutes
Available on board all ships.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
User Rank: Ninja
5/3/2015 | 12:02:31 PM
Re: Security

You are absolutely right to suggest that "Security is definitely a Huge Issue".

At the sametime I have little doubt that is the usual case/issue in most sceanarios like this one;Security will be an after-thought in the entire Scheme of things and only when a Real Breach/Disaster happens will Security be Bolted onto the Enterprise.

As I had said earlier also,Most Consumers don't want "Slow Internet" or Internet with too many Gates.

My FB and Twitter should just work-Period.

Liability,etc are just afterthoughts here.

For reference case-Just observe  how United Airlines Hamfisted response to a Security Researcher who claimed that their Flight Control Systems could be easily  

Would'nt it be so much better if they would very nicely have asked Mr Roberts for a demonstration of what he Claims to be possible[In a safe passenger-free environment] before dismissing his claims entirely???

I hope you appreciate and understand what I am suggesting here.


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