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Briese Schiffahrt commits more vessels to KVH AgilePlans

German ship manager Briese Schiffahrt has expanded its relationship with KVH Industries as it continues to roll out its subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) programme, AgilePlans.

Over the last two years, Briese Schiffahrt has rapidly grown its installed base from five to 38 vessels and has plans to continue the growth further.

According to the German ship manager, the flexibility of KVH’s no-commitment AgilePlans programme and the reliability of the global VSAT services in supporting critical operational usage and crew communications were reasons for selecting KVH.

“For us, it is very important to work with a company that is able to provide the ease and flexibility of paying monthly without any commitment worries,” said Holger Börchers, IT manager for Briese Schiffahrt. “It shows that KVH understands the commercial maritime market and the fact that fleet sizes change.

“KVH AgilePlans provides full coverage of all fees in one price and we have found working with KVH to be seamless.”

The arrangement was facilitated by Heiko Höfer, managing director of Dualog Nordic, KVH’s airtime service provider in Germany.

“Our success here is owing to the close-knit relationships of trust, support, and dependability that have been forged in the local market over many years,” said Thomas Plüschau, KVH regional sales manager for Germany. “These strong and positive working relationships, combined with the power of AgilePlans, enables us to help drive change, modernisation, and business in critical shipping hubs.”

Briese Schiffahrt manages a fleet of project cargo vessels, bulk carriers, and containerships, and also performs crew management for more than 2,000 seafarers. The ship manager values KVH’s satellite connectivity services for the improved communications between office and vessels and for the ease of managing crew accounts, according to Börchers. “Every morning, our crew program is synchronised and when a seafarer steps on a KVH-equipped vessel, it automatically recognises the crew member and provides the appropriate Internet access,” he said. “We know that we need to offer good connectivity in order to get and keep good crew members. Our plan is to equip every vessel that is sailing on waters more than 50 miles from the coast with VSAT.”

Nearly all of the 38 KVH-equipped Briese Schiffahrt vessels use the TracPhone V7-HTS, a 60 cm diameter satellite communications antenna system designed to provide data speeds up to 10 Mbps down/3 Mbps up. Two vessels use the TracPhone V3-HTS, a 39 cm diameter system featuring data speeds up to 6 Mbps down/2 Mbps up, and one vessel uses the TracPhone V11-HTS, a 1-meter diameter system featuring data speeds up to 20 Mbps down/3 Mbps up.

“Briese will build a number of new vessels during the next years and all of them will be equipped with a KVH V11-HTS. The very first of this new generation is planned to be delivered in mid-November.”

The AgilePlans program also includes the NEWSlink service, which enables seafarers on the Briese Schiffahrt vessels to access daily news content from around the world, an important aspect of crew welfare. The NEWSlink service includes more than 65 national seafarer news dailies in more than 20 languages, plus monthly special interest editions.

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