Emergency Professionals Choose KVH TracPhone V3 for Portable SATCOM

press release
Friday, September 09, 2011

KVH distributor Mackay Communications offers a unique, transportable terminal for mini-VSAT Broadband service.

KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) today announced a portable configuration of its ultra-compact TracPhone® V3 mobile satellite communication system designed for use by emergency responders. The kit, created by KVH distributor Mackay Communications, houses the TracPhone V3 antenna, modem, control unit, and cabling in two compact, hard-sided cases that can be transported easily and are even small enough to be checked as baggage on commercial aircraft. This configuration allows responders to quickly and easily deploy KVH’s global mini-VSAT BroadbandSM communications service at disaster or emergency sites where terrestrial cellular services are overloaded or unavailable.
“The combination of the global, reliable mini-VSAT Broadband network and the compact TracPhone V3, in this unique, portable package from Mackay, provides immediate, reliable voice communications and broadband connectivity for anyone responding in military operations for relief or contingency. We are delighted that Mackay took the initiative to package our product and service in a way that absolutely meets this need,” says Bill Houtz, KVH’s military sales manager.

“This solution is compact and simple enough to transport on a commercial aircraft, and can be up and running in minutes. With its large, overlapping beam pattern and built-in redundancy, the mini-VSAT Broadband network can support far greater bandwidth use than BGAN and Inmarsat FleetBroadband terminals, and its airtime is one-tenth the cost of those services to boot.”The global mini-VSAT Broadband network offers excellent coverage that is invaluable for relief and military contingency operations addressing piracy, political unrest, oil spills, and natural disasters like earthquakes or tsunamis. In all of these situations, mini-VSAT Broadband’s spread spectrum technology delivers ultra-reliable connections over multiple beams, providing overlapping coverage that can be balanced in real time to ensure Quality of Service (QoS). This differs significantly from older technologies like BGAN that are quickly overwhelmed in these environments, defeating the very purpose behind why they were acquired.

“A U.S. Navy customer needed a light, transportable solution for rapid deployment, so we came up with a unique way to package the complete TracPhone V3 system in two rollaway cases. We reinforced the internal components of the cases for durability and survivability,” explains Robert Byrd, Director of Government Programs for Mackay Communications. “We also devised a way, using common, off-the-shelf materials, to use the larger case as the platform for the terminal, if needed. The customer was and is very satisfied with this solution, and they are purchasing additional units.”

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-licensed TracPhone V3 includes a fully stabilized, 14.5" antenna that weighs just 25 pounds, a powerful ViaSat ArcLight® spread spectrum modem, and a sleek antenna control unit that are all fully integrated and configured for easy installation. ArcLight spread spectrum technology enables very small antennas like KVH’s 14.5" (37 cm) TracPhone V3 to receive satellite transmissions with the speed and reliability of older, 1-meter VSAT antennas that use TDMA transmission schemes. KVH’s high-efficiency RingFire™ antenna design and dielectric feed rod technology mean the TracPhone V3 offers great performance, even in poor weather, and its rugged, lightweight (25 lbs.) design is perfect for use on small high-speed patrol craft or other response vehicles.

With more than 1,500 antenna systems shipped and global coverage, KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network is the world’s largest and fastest growing maritime Ku-band satellite communications network. A managed airtime network solution, it equips vessels with true broadband connections as well as Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone lines with optimized service and prioritization of applications.

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