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NCL Cell Access Now Fleet-wide

July 7, 2006 By: Susan Young Travel Agent

NCL Corporation said it has become the first cruise line to offer cell phone service fleet-wide. The service is available for all passengers on all of its ships worldwide via the Wireless Maritime Services, a joint venture of AT&T Wireless and Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN). The access combines satellite and wireless services, enabling passengers to make and receive calls on their own cell phones with their own phone numbers while in international waters. The service is available to most passengers with GSM and CDMA phones that operate at 1900 MHz, the U.S. standard. Passengers can make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, passengers with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices can access data services, such as email, Internet and picture messaging. Passengers are billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier, just as if they were roaming on land instead of at sea. Separately, the line's U.S. flagged NCL America ships, which operate only in Hawaii's waters, are deployed close enough to shore that passengers can access local cell phone towers.

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