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Royal Caribbean tasks Elon Musk’s Starlink with delivering high-speed internet

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ruise giant Royal Caribbean has partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX in a bid to become the first cruise fleet to offer high-speed internet to customers.

The New York-listed firm said deployment of the technology is to begin immediately with full installation set to be completed across its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruise fleets by March 2023. It follows a successful trial of the hardware onboard its Freedom of the Seas ship.

Royal Caribbean boss Jason Liberty said: “This technology will provide game-changing internet connectivity onboard our ships, enhancing the cruise experience for guests and crew alike.

“It will improve and enable more high-bandwidth activities like video streaming as well as activities like video calls.”

The announcement is the latest step for SpaceX as it seeks to commercialise its Starlink satellite programme. Last week, the company announced a partnership with T-Mobile to deliver connectivity to its mobile customers without access to the network in rural locations.

In June, the firm secured approval from the US Federal Communications Commission to install its hardware on moving vehicles, opening it up to partnerships with airlines and shipping companies.

The firm has launched 2,700 satellites since 2019.

Starlink’s satellite internet service became available in the UK in January and is now available in 32 countries. Promising to deliver speeds of up to 100 megabits per second,  the Starlink kit costs £460 plus a monthly subscription of £75 for UK residents.

In June, billionaire Elon Musk said the service could exceed half a million users within 12 months.

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