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KVH ships 9,000th mini-VSAT Broadband system

KVH Industries has shipped its 9,000th mini-VSAT Broadband system, marking the ever-growing demand for connectivity on-board ships and at sea.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer, stated: “Ever since we launched our mini-VSAT Broadband network more than 10 years ago, our antenna systems have been in demand by the maritime industry. Our solution is known for fast data speeds, affordable airtime, and an advanced, secure, and reliable network, which continues to be a winning combination as the maritime industry relies more and more on connectivity.”

KVH’s portfolio of products include its TracPhone V-series antenna systems, designed to provide satellite broadband connectivity to commercial vessels and leisure yachts around the world, using advanced satellite technology, including the latest high-throughout satellites (HTS).

The TracPhone antenna systems include the TracPhone V3-HTS, a 37 cm diameter Ku-band ultra-compact maritime VSAT antenna, and the TracPhone V7-HTS, a 60 cm diameter Ku-band antenna. These HTS antenna systems are designed for KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband HTS network, which utilises Intelsat Flex Maritime service, providing multi-layered global coverage through Intelsat EpicNG HTS and select wide beams.

KVH also manufactures the TracPhone V11-IP, a 1.1 metre diameter, dual-mode C/Ku-band antenna for global VSAT connectivity. KVH’s VSAT systems feature the Integrated CommBoxTM Modem (ICM), a streamlined belowdecks unit that replaces the need for a rack full of components and integrates all antenna control, on-board network management, and modem functions in one small box. The ICM also receives onboard news, entertainment, and operations content sent via KVH’s IP-MobileCast content delivery service.

TracPhone V-series systems have received eight product excellence awards from the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) in the past nine years. KVH has also received recognition from industry analysts of the Prospects for Maritime Satellite Communications, 6th Edition (2018) at Euroconsult, reporting that KVH is the market share leader in maritime VSAT by units.

KVH has also provided since 2017 a subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) model for the commercial maritime sector. AgilePlans is an all-inclusive, no-commitment offering for a one monthly fee: connectivity via the mini-VSAT Broadband satellite network; a TracPhone V-series satellite communications antenna with free installation in select ports; news and training content delivered via satellite; and delivery of chart and weather content. The AgilePlans program has proven very successful. In the fourth quarter of 2018, it accounted for more than 62 per cent of KVH’s total commercial maritime VSAT shipments.{/mprestriction}

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  • Connectivity demand booms as leisure vessels become safer, reports IEC Telecom

    Demand for faster and cheaper connectivity at sea is set to increase as sailing is recognised as a safer place to work, travel and holiday during the COVID-19 pandemic says satcom specialist IEC Telecom, which is experiencing an increase in enquiries from vessel operators in the maritime leisure sector.

    With ‘lockdowns’ and restrictions easing in some parts of the world, yacht owners are now able to enjoy ‘social distancing’ onboard their vessels, which is leading to a boost in demand for high-speed connectivity and increased bandwidth capacity. With the focus on social distancing, yachts are becoming increasingly attractive remote offices for those able to attend to business matters while enjoying the open sea, sunshine and fresh air. During this challenging time, sailors have an increased need to stay connected for both personal and operational purposes as well as to avoid the need to go ashore as much as possible.

    The signs are pointing to an upsurge in leisure boating. Yacht chartering is seen as one of the safest ways to enjoy a break at present due to the minimal contact charterers have with other people. Yachts are considered to be more hygienic, given the ratio of crew to guests and the exclusivity of being on a private boat. Affluent consumers are looking for getaways with fewer crowds, more privacy and the ability to gather privately with those closest to them. The Boat Affair platform (whose rentals are available in more than 60 countries) has seen a 23 per cent increase in requests from customers who traditionally would opt for a hotel vacation or a seaside resort but are now seeking a safer alternative. And, according to a new survey by LuggageHero, 25 per cent of travellers report they will try to avoid crowded commercial flights and public transportation in a post-coronavirus world.

    Meanwhile, in countries where travel is still restricted, many larger leisure boats and super yachts remain fully crewed and operational – also leading to increased need for connectivity as crews try to stay in touch with family and friends while conducting as many ship operations as possible via remote techniques. With crew restricted to remaining on the vessel in many places, higher speeds and larger bandwidth capacity is needed to provide leisure activities too.

    The leisure boat sector was initially hit hard by international lockdowns and is now incurring additional costs for deep cleaning, personal protective equipment, virus testing etc which are not generally reflected in the charter fees. As a result, systems which allow to optimise bandwidth consumption in order to reduce expenses on communication are proving popular with consumers looking to install or upgrade yacht connectivity systems.

    Gwenael Loheac, chief executive officer Western & Southern Europe for IEC Telecom said: “Data traffic on leisure vessels has increased during this crisis period because crew, vessel operators and passengers need to exchange information on a more regular basis. In response to COVID-19, we are seeing increased demand for flexible tariffs to enable leisure vessel operators to adapt quickly to fluctuating connectivity requirements. Fortunately, we are well-placed to meet these needs, having a wide portfolio of solutions designed to provide best user experience, while keeping communications costs at bay.

    IEC Telecom recently launched OneGate Marine Compact, a new lightweight digital solution with a network management system which provides full visibility over on-board network assets (both satellite and GSM) and enables vessel owners to control expenses and optimise consumption via a digital dashboard.

    Mr Loheac commented: “OneGate Marine Compact was developed to cater to all major requirements of the leisure boat sector – addressing their needs for speed, bandwidth and cost optimisation. OneGate Marine Compact is an agile, lightweight, highly-adaptable and easy-to-install digital communications system which gives complete access to the benefits of digital connectivity even on smaller vessels. At this challenging time this system is providing many of the answers yacht owners need to enable them to conduct online business and leisure activities safely and securely.”

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  • Hartmann seals connectivity upgrade deal with Marlink

    German Hartmann Shipping Services has signed a major new service upgrade agreement with Marlink that will see Hartmann move from an allowance-based VSAT connectivity to an unlimited Committed Information Rate (CIR) service.

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