Cell Phones at Sea

December 26, 2000
It may not be available on our shores yet but the technology for using your wireless telephone aboard a cruise ship may soon be available. Brittany Ferries, which operates the Val de Loire, a European-based cruise ship, has announced plans to install one of the world's first private wireless networks on board. The ship, whose itinerary includes France, Ireland, Britain and Spain, has contracted with Menlo Park, California-based Interwave Communications to install a digital wireless base station on board the ship. The station will link into a VSAT (very small aperture terminal) satellite-based system from Geolink. Brittany Ferries said this is the first time a GSM base station has been installed on a cruise ship for passenger use. Can Carnival be far behind?