Live mini-VSAT Broadband service in the Pacific is a major milestone in joint effort by KVH and ViaSat to support broadband Internet & VoIP telephone service for maritime applications globally
Broadband Internet and telephone service is now available to vessels crossing the Pacific Ocean due to the rollout of the new Pacific Ocean Region for the mini-VSAT Broadband satellite communications service from KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI).
The new coverage area, which includes Alaska, the west coasts of Canada and the United States, Hawaii, and extends into Asia, is part of the KVH and ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) joint effort to provide affordable mobile Ku-band broadband connections around the globe. As a result, vessels now have access to uninterrupted Ku-band Internet and voice services from the Asian coast eastward throughout North America and the Caribbean, across the North Atlantic, and all the way through Mediterranean waters.
“We have now successfully rolled out a single, unified broadband service across roughly two-thirds of the world’s major shipping and aeronautical lanes, enabling us to offer commercial, leisure, and government customers a unique mobile communications hardware and service solution,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “Our goal, as we enter 2009, is to complete our global mini-VSAT Broadband network and support the growing demand for faster, more affordable data and voice connections for people on the move.”
The mini-VSAT Broadband service, along with the KVH TracPhone V7 antenna, comprise the first end-to-end 24-inch VSAT hardware, service, and support package available for maritime communications and offers Voice over IP phone service and Internet access as fast as 512 Kbps (upload) and 2 Mbps (download) at fixed monthly rates.
Commenting on the business opportunities that mini-VSAT Broadband offers, Brent Bruun, KVH’s vice president of business development, remarked, “We are positioning the mini-VSAT Broadband service to offer the high-speed connections at sea critical for shipboard business, efficient operations, and the increased security and regulatory expectations required of shipping operators transporting cargo. It will also become increasingly valuable in the competitive commercial market as a means of improving the quality of life and the morale of the crew.”
“The success and growth of this Ku-band satellite broadband service, built on the foundation of our ArcLight technology, has created pent up demand for services over the Pacific and into Asia,” added Don Buchman, ViaSat’s director for mobile broadband. “In addition to opening up service to current customers, we expect the expansion of the mobile network to attract new customers as well."