KVH Launches Maritime Broadband Service and New TracPhone V7

Published online: Jul 20, 2007 News
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The new mini-VSAT Broadband service uses sophisticated spread spectrum technology to provide vessels with data reception rates as fast as 2 Mbps and data transmission rates as fast as 512 Kbps via a 24" KVH-developed marine terminal. The mini-VSAT Broadband service is fast, "always on" and available in a variety of pricing packages that offer significant cost savings for heavy data users when compared with other traditional data solutions available for commercial and leisure vessels.

To support this service, KVH, under a joint development agreement with ViaSat, Inc., developed the TracPhone V7 two-way broadband satellite terminal. The system combines KVH's market leading antenna technology with ViaSat's novel ArcLight spread spectrum mobile broadband technology.

"This is what broadband at sea was meant to be," explains Martin Kits van Heyningen, president and chief executive officer of KVH Industries. "In order to create a 'cable modem' experience at sea, we developed a 24" diameter, rugged antenna and integrated below-decks system that is well-suited for maritime markets and utilizes SES AMERICOM 's satellite network."

The smaller antenna will save vessel owners tens of thousands of dollars in installation costs that often must be invested to reinforce superstructures and build custom platforms to hold the larger 250-400 lbs antennas currently needed to receive and transmit maritime broadband signals.

"KVH and ViaSat are demonstrating market and technical leadership with their development of the TracPhone V7 terminal, the critical component that underpins this high-speed service for vessels as small as 50 feet in length," added Brent Bruun, SES AMERICOM's senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

KVH will serve as the sole point of contact for hardware and airtime sales, activations, billing and technical support, eliminating the issues created when relying on multiple vendors and service providers. Available starting in September 2007, the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service will initially offer coverage of North and Central America along with the entire Caribbean. Later in the fall of 2007, coverage is scheduled to expand to include the North Atlantic shipping routes and all of Europe.

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