Cruise Line Upgrades Legacy PBX to VoIP Using NVT Phybridge PoLRE Solution at Cadiz Port

cruise line

PoLRE Solution Helps Cruise Line Save Over $100,000 During VoIP Migration

3-minute read time


  • A renowned cruise line at Cadiz Port, Spain, sought to upgrade from its legacy analog PBX system to VoIP within a challenging four-week dry dock schedule, aiming to modernize communications and enhance guest experiences.
  • With limited time for implementation and concerns about business disruption, traditional network design thinking was unsuccessful – prompting the search for an innovative solution that could ensure a swift, seamless upgrade.
  • Mitel recommended the PoLRE (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) solution to leverage the existing infrastructure, significantly reducing time and cost requirements.
  • The cruise line deployed over 300 Mitel IP phones while reducing infrastructure readiness costs by over $100,000 and the deployment time by 75%, which inspired future upgrades to three additional cruise ships.


A prestigious cruise line operating at the Spanish Cadiz Port faced the critical challenge of upgrading to a VoIP phone solution without high costs, complexity, or long deployment times. The existing analog PBX ran on CAT3 infrastructure, and re-cabling was not an option due to high costs and additional weight considerations. Additionally, the cruise line needed to complete the VoIP deployment during its four-week dry dock schedule.


Mitel stepped in with a strategic solution – the NVT Phybridge PoLRE long-reach PoE switch. As a comprehensive end-to-end offering within Mitel’s portfolio of products, the PoLRE solution helps organizations leverage new or existing CAT3 network infrastructure to deploy the latest IP communication solutions without re-cabling.

After a few simple setup steps, the PoLRE switch transformed the cruise ship’s existing and reliable CAT3 infrastructure into a secure and robust PoE backbone for the new VoIP devices. The PoLRE switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over single-pair UTP cabling with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach – four times farther than standard PoE switches. The cruise line was impressed with the PoLRE switch and decided to proceed with the IP migration, while also planning to expand the program for three additional cruise ships in its fleet.


Overcoming Time Constraints: In stark contrast to conventional network design thinking which would have resulted in a 12-week deployment, the PoLRE switch leveraged existing cabling to significantly simplify and accelerate the migration. The customer met its 4-week deadline by avoiding traditional network readiness requirements, having accelerated the deployment by 75%.

Cost Savings: The efficient deployment of the solution required fewer personnel and less time, reducing network readiness costs by more than $100,000. Using traditional LAN design thinking, the labor-intensive and costly approach of replacing the existing wiring would have resulted in double the workforce and triple the deployment duration.

The customer achieved its sustainability mandate by using the innovative PoLRE PoE switch to leverage its existing cabling, avoiding the need to re-cable and preventing approximately 2,000 pounds of cabling e-waste per ship.

Enhanced Guest Experience: The customer reallocated its infrastructure cost savings towards improving guest services and amenities, ultimately elevating the onboard experience.

Simplicity and Scalability: The PoLRE solution’s simplicity, predictability, and repeatability enabled a smooth and hassle-free deployment of over 300 Mitel IP endpoints. The straightforward solution ensured a successful transition without operational disruptions.

Advanced Management Tools: The NVT Phybridge CCMT Switch Configuration Tool provided seamless management of the NVT Phybridge switches, including batch configuration, software upgrades, and ongoing management.

Future Opportunities: A Testament to Success

The success of the VoIP migration using the NVT Phybridge PoLRE solution positioned NVT Phybridge and Mitel as trusted partners for future IP migration projects. The cruise line was impressed by the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and reliability of the solution – and entrusted NVT Phybridge and Mitel with the upgrade of three additional ships in its fleet. This achievement highlights the strength of the partnership and the transformative impact of the PoLRE solution.

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