Will the internet / WiFi be capable of live video-streaming, downloading (such as Peleton spin classes) and uploading (such as a passenger giving live classes from the ship)?
Wi-Fi networks are now a key component of today’s society, making it essential in everyday life; both for work, operational and leisure usage. Therefore, internet connectivity is one of the key elements of Storylines’ IT project. It is not an option not to have reliable service.
Storylines intends to use several systems that work independently to ensure good internet on the ship.
-The first is the classic VSAT satellite communication system which is expensive and not always available everywhere.
-We have investigated the O3B SES Network which supplies data to Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines. It specializes in providing low-latency broadband connectivity to remote locations via satellite. It’s the fastest ship-based data supply currently available with wireless data service for email, internet surfing, and communication applications such as Skype or WhatsApp. It is expensive to get the kind of speed that we need although we have allowed for that in our budgeting. We are prepared for this as a large expense.
-Mobile broadband provides connection to land-based cellular networks when the vessel is less than 60 km from the coast. In those cases we can generally pick up land base services, which means we can have high speed data at very reasonable rates.
-We are also investigating new technologies coming out now such as the Low Earth Orbit satellite communication systems which will be available in the next few years. Two such systems are ‘Starlink’ and ‘OneWeb’. This would bring data speed up and data cost down. There may be other technologies becoming available by the time we set sail.
We will be in port more often than at sea. Perhaps only a couple of days at sea over a three month time period. On the sea days, we need data from satellite. The rest of the time we can use land towers along the coastline and in port. It is not an option to not be able to have video capabilities.
In addition, data access points will be available in each residence for wired connections.
Regarding large Zoom meetings, they require several Mb/s, so it will be possible to conduct them on the ship without any problem. Moreover, Zoom automatically reduces the bandwidth in the case of lower throughput. We have no concerns about video-conference meetings.
In conclusion, we can assure that Storylines provides the best possible level of internet access no matter what route the ship is taking.
When we’re at sea, things like Alexa, Netflix, Amazon Prime: will there be connection issues?
The local area network on board is going to be state of the art fiber optic cabling. That is going to use very high bandwidths. The ship’s shore internet connection will be 5G or higher, depending what is available at that time. We will be upgrading our technology as it develops. We’ll have that data connection 80% of the time when we are in port or near land. When we go to sea and lose that data connection, we’re going to have low latency and low orbit satellites like the Starlink system, so that we get high speed internet whilst at sea. Also on board, we can have a data center for streaming things like Netflix, so that you’ll have very low latency streaming for television shows and films. But when we’re near port or when we’re using 5G or a higher data connection, then everyone can use their own Netflix, etc.
Will each connected internet device have its own IPv4 and IPv6 public addresses? Static or dynamic?
For internal hosted addresses we are using dynamic private IPv4 (normal IP addresses). We can also use IPv6.
Can we set up LANs in our residences without being double-NATed? Get an / 48 IPv6?
We need to have double NATed on IPv4. The reason is that we use a “private” IP-range to avoid IP-collision related to the services. Yes, /48 IPv6 can be used.
What is the expected bandwidth?
Typical Vsat bandwidth today for a vessel like this is 133/67 Mbps, although this will probably increase when the ship is launched. In general, there are several factors related to bandwidth:
– Size of Vsat antennas
– Number of Vsat antennas
– Location of the vessel. (There are limitations when you are far south or north.)
– We will combine GEO with LEO for latency critical data, but LEO will probably have a higher cost than GEO.
All our antennas are LEO compatible.
We have a MBB/LTE solution with much higher bandwidth for a lower cost when the vessel is “close” to shore (10-30Nm). This capacity will be “bundled” into all systems onboard.
What is the expected latency? (LEO, GEO, terrestrial)
Latency is for GEO approximately 600ms and for LEO 70ms. Terrestrial depends on the local partner and technology in use.
Will Telenor respect net neutrality? No port or protocol blocking or prioritization, filtering, DPI, etc?
We are able to filter and prioritize traffic. We recommend some sort of filtering so the ‘services’ will be on an acceptable level for all passengers. One example is BitTorrent, as the protocol is very demanding. If too many passengers are streaming at the same time, the quality will decrease due to some limitations in the Vsat capacity.
Will there be a LAN in every unit type so we can plug in with a wired line ethernet port?
Yes, there will be both a LAN socket and a WiFi hotspot in every unit. You can choose whether you want to use a wired or wireless internet connection.
What is the level of internet security we will have while using the LAN in the unit and also using the WiFi.
Security protocols for Wi-Fi are evolving all the time and it is too early to say which one will be in use when the ship is in service. It will definitely be the version that provides the highest level of security for Storylines passengers.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO don’t work with VPNs and there will be content restrictions unless the VPN chosen is owned by Storylines and goes to their US address. How’s this going to work?
That’s correct – streaming platforms such as Netflix, HBO Max, CBS, NBC, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and almost every major broadcaster block VPN access to their content. The reason for this is due to US licenses. For example, Hulu has the content rights to certain shows for distribution in the United States whereas other broadcasters have the rights to the same content in other regions of the world. If broadcasters were to allow worldwide streaming from their servers, they would have to start paying for global licenses, which would not be in their best interest.One possible solution to the problem of restricted content on the ship is that the VPN chosen is owned by Storylines and goes to the company’s US address. However, it is too early to present whatever method will eventually be implemented. At this stage, we can inform you that our intention is for there to be no content restrictions to passengers, but over time Storylines will be looking into the legal aspects of the solution as well.