Tuesday, 08 October 2019 11:55

Spirit of Tasmania passengers get new high-speed satellite Internet service Featured

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Passengers on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service between Devonport and Melbourne now have access to high-speed Internet, with a partnership by the ferry operators with Australian satellite internet provider, IPSTAR Broadband.

The NAVA Internet service, billed as the fastest across Bass Strait, is available now on any Wi-Fi-enabled device (laptops, tablets and mobile phones) on board the Spirit of Tasmania ships, at a cost of $20 per crossing or $12 per hour.

IPSTAR says the service will provide a superior experience for passengers – fast reliable Wi-Fi throughout the journey providing access email, web browsing and all the usual applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Facebook.

And IPSTAR says that for Spirit of Tasmania’s crew, who spend long periods away from family and friends, the service is essential for keeping them connected and entertained during their down time.

With 24-hour access to business systems such as Spirit of Tasmania’s booking platform, the crew on board can check booking details and make amendments in real-time reducing duplication and increasing responsiveness to passenger requests on board.

Simon Pearce, Chief Information Officer at Spirit of Tasmania says he is confident passengers will be impressed with the speed and consistency of the new system.

“We’re continually looking for ways to improve the on board experience for our passengers and by introducing the NAVA system they can now enjoy a fast seamless service throughout their entire journey,” Pearce said.

“From an operational perspective, by ensuring a constant connection between our crew on board and our staff on shore, we are in the best possible position to continue providing exceptional service to our passenger and freight clients.”

IPSTAR utilises a gyrostablised 1.5 metre antenna with a large 16W KU band transmitter, which it says ensures availability and reliability of the internet throughout the rough Bass Strait crossing.

IPSTAR distributes the internet throughout the ship using a Cisco wireless network, providing users with the flexibility of roaming from one part of the ship onto the next with seamless switching and minimal connectivity loss.

IPSTAR Managing Director, Shannon Fisher, said the NAVA service, which uses IPSTAR Broadband’s own satellite, Thaicom 4, was part of the company’s commitment to improving access to high-speed internet in parts of Australia where digital connectivity has been poor.

“Just as we are striving to provide high-speed satellite internet to families and businesses in rural and remote Australia, so too are we providing access to passengers and crew on one of the world’s most famous sea crossings,” Fisher said.

“People want to share their experiences with friends and loved ones instantly and NAVA will enable passengers on Spirit of Tasmania to share photographs and other content as if they were onshore.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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