A survey by MTN Communications revealed a dramatic shift in the devices cruisers use to connect to the Internet.

MTN Communications is a leading provider of telecom services to ships. According to its study, mobile phones are currently the primary means of connection when passengers link to Internet accounts.

In 2010 the company found 94 percent of the devices connected to Internet accounts on cruise ships were laptop or desktop computers. Only 1 percent were smartphones. 

By last year, the split had turned, with 60 percent of the connections recorded as mobile phones and only 20 percent desktops or laptops. In 2010 tablet devices accounted for 5 percent of connections, and last year - 20 percent.

MTN Communications cited several factors explaining the shift, including the roll-out of an “Internet Cafe” which offers an account with switching between devices. The company has also implemented a hybrid WiFi and sea-land satellite system providing greater transmission speeds and more bandwidth, and has switched the billing model from that based on time used to such based on data consumed.

Over the past two years, cruise industry sees a 500 percent jump in MByte consumption, 40 percent increase in the number of Internet users, and 35 percent in Internet revenue.