KVH Debuts TracPhone V11 for mini-VSAT Broadband Global C/Ku-band Service
KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq:KVHI) said it has made fast, affordable, truly global broadband service at sea a reality thanks to the global C-band coverage added to the groundbreaking mini-VSAT Broadband(SM) network and the introduction of the dual-mode, 1-meter TracPhone(R) V11 C/Ku-band terminal. The new TracPhone V11 terminal is on display this week in KVH's booth at the Shipbuilding, Machinery, and Marine Technology (SMM) international trade fair in Hamburg, Germany, September 4-7.
"Earlier this summer, we completed the rollout of our mini-VSAT Broadband service, which uses three global C-band satellite transponders to overlay the coverage of our worldwide Ku-band network to provide a fully global, unified broadband service," explains Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH's chief executive officer. "Our dual-mode TracPhone V11 will access our global network, seamlessly switching between C- and Ku-band service, to deliver fast, affordable maritime VSAT connectivity almost anywhere on Earth. Our unified solution matches the coverage of legacy L-band services such as Inmarsat FleetBroadband while offering data speeds that are up to 10 times faster at about 1/10th the price."
The TracPhone V11 antenna is 85% smaller than those of older global C-band VSAT systems. Because of its ability to automatically switch to Ku-band service and the mini-VSAT Broadband network's extensive Ku-band coverage, the TracPhone V11 avoids limitations imposed by regulations restricting the use of C-band maritime terminals near coastal nations. In July 2012, the TracPhone V11 was granted full U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, including a first-time special provision allowing the dual-band system to be used on vessels smaller than 300 gross tons (the limit for competing U.S.-licensed maritime C-band systems).
Like the new TracPhone V7-IP that was introduced last week, the TracPhone V11 uses KVH's robust new 3-axis antenna design that can track satellites anywhere in the sky, and features fully integrated belowdecks equipment that includes the new IP-enabled antenna control unit - the CommBox-ACU - creating a complete, end-to-end solution for managing both IT functions and communications on board the vessel. The TracPhone V11's integrated design vastly reduces the complexity inherent in competing maritime VSAT systems, which typically require a local technician to configure a full rack of hardware from a half-dozen different third-party manufacturers. The new system also makes the advanced features of KVH's best-of-breed network management solution, the CommBox(TM) Ship/Shore Network Manager, available to every TracPhone V11 customer, without the need to invest in additional hardware.
For the vessel owner's IT manager, the TracPhone V11 provides extensive functionality to help manage onboard networks remotely. The system itself is very easy for the crew to operate thanks to an outstanding web browser-based user interface that even includes an iPhone(R) app. The CommBox-ACU provides a full suite of onboard services optimized for satellite communications, including crystal clear VoIP calling, Internet cafe, crew calling, managed e-mail, secure file delivery, and remote network access. The end-to-end design of the TracPhone V11 enables the system software to be updated over the air using either the mini-VSAT Broadband service or cellular service using a GPRS modem built into the system's antenna. This remote access enables technicians working in KVH's support center to remotely diagnose and troubleshoot any issues through industry leading 24/7/365 support.
Launched just five years ago, the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband service has grown to become the world's most widely used maritime VSAT solution, according to two leading satellite industry research reports published last spring1. KVH credits its rapid ascent to the top of the maritime VSAT market to a unique business model whereby the company utilizes proprietary spread spectrum technology provided by its network partner, ViaSat; designs and manufactures onboard terminals that are smaller, more reliable, less costly, and easier to install than competing products; offers best-of-breed network management solutions; owns and operates its own airtime network leveraging the commercial Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) of industry leaders such as Intelsat, SES, SKY Perfect JSAT, and Eutelsat; and provides an extensive global support channel, including a dedicated 24/7/365 support center. As the mini-VSAT Broadband network grows, KVH can easily add commercial satellite capacity in areas where there are concentrations of new customers, thereby assuring a high quality, future-proof service. KVH offers a complete range of hardware and airtime options to suit the needs of any size vessel, in any fleet, anywhere in the world.