AmaWaterways Luxury Cruise Connectivity

“Saving 80GB a day and €48,000 per month.”

AmaWaterways is an award-winning luxurious river cruise operator in Europe. With a fleet of 16 custom-designed cruise ships, AmaWaterways provides the luxuries of a 5-star hotel while cruising along Europe’s Danube, Douro, Garonne, Main, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine Rivers in elegance and style.

Internet is so integrated into the everyday life that, it is often the first thing a passenger asks when boarding. Passengers need Internet access for web browsing, to keep in touch with friends and family, and share their journey on social networks.

Committed to providing the best travel experience possible, AmaWaterways needs a way to provide quality 24/7 Internet access to the each of their 150 premier guests as if they were onshore.

“A proactive, personalized approach to exceeding expectations is a hallmark of the AmaWaterways experience.” -AmaWaterways River Cruises.

The Need for Bandwidth

Being well aware of what passengers need for an enjoyable journey, AmaWaterways fits their cruise ships with 6x 4G LTE European roaming SIM cards and one VSAT Internet connection. Daily bandwidth usage amounts to around 40GB or €800 of data cost a day. Bandwidth usage is constantly on the rise. Websites are becoming increasingly content-heavy and media-rich for a better browsing experience. This results in a steady rise in the bandwidth usage and data cost over time. While Internet audio and video calls let passengers stay in touch with family and friends, they also add to bandwidth usage and data costs. Mobiles devices by default perform app and system updates when connected to a Wi-Fi network. These updates bring new features and security enhancements, but performing these automatic downloads onboard significantly increases bandwidth usage and cost. All of these are using up all the bandwidth available and pushing up bandwidth usage.

AmaWaterways does not want to disallow certain bandwidth-intensive services because it is committed to providing the best travel experience possible and Internet is an integral part of it. This raises a challenge of fulfilling passengers’ increasing bandwidth needs without skyrocketing data cost which already amounts to €800 a day.

BSS ICT – The River Cruise ICT Provider

AmaWaterways turns to their trusted IT and AV provider – BSS ICT Groep, for help. They both share the same customer-centric value and are driven by customer satisfaction. BSS takes pride in their expertise. They stay at the forefront of technology and are continuously on the lookout for innovation and disruptive technologies that would be beneficial to their customers. For a long time BSS has been using Peplink products. When Peplink introduced MediaFast content caching technology, BSS knew that this would solve the challenge that AmaWaterways faced.

“It has been 7 years since we started using Peplink. We are impressed by their commitment to innovation. When Peplink announced the MediaFast content caching technology, we knew that it would have great impact on maritime or mobile Internet.” -Hans Dominicus, BSS ICT Groep.

Peplink routers with MediaFast content caching technology come with built-in SSD storage. This allows the router to seamlessly cache content. Content (e.g. news websites, mobile apps, and system updates) will be cached in the router’s built-in SSD storage when they are requested by a passenger’s mobile device. Subsequent access to the same content by other passenger’s mobile devices will be delivered instantly from cache without having to download the same content again.

Since most passengers go to the same sources for news, weather forecast and sports updates, and that most mobile devices have the same bundle of apps installed, BSS installed the Peplink Balance with MediaFast 500 on cruise ships for content caching. Immediately the Peplink Balance with MediaFast 500 is able to seamlessly cache web content. For example, if all 150 passengers have Facebook app installed on their mobile devices. Without MediaFast, when there is a Facebook app update, it will be downloaded 150x times. With MediaFast, it will be download once, and cached for all passengers’ mobile devices, reducing the bandwidth usage for as many as 150x times.

Cached content is delivered instantly to passengers from the Peplink Balance with MediaFast 500 router’s built-in storage with no extra bandwidth usage. This provides lightning fast downloads and a smooth web browsing experience for passengers. Bandwidth is also freed up for other uses such as Internet audio, and video calls. This provides a much smoother call and Internet experience for passengers.

Cost Savings, Return on Investment

After a month of deployment, the MediaFast has already made significant bandwidth savings. In fact, the savings provide an immediate return on investment for AmaWaterways – returning their investment in Peplink MediaFast in mere months. With such success, AmaWaterways will use the Peplink MediaFast solution on their entire fleet of cruise ships. 

“Peplink MediaFast pays for itself in a matter of months!” -Hans Dominicus, BSS ICT Groep.