MIDDLETOWN – KVH Industries Inc. has shipped its 4,000th TracPhone terminal for the mini-VSAT Broadband network, adding more than 1,000 units in the past year and extending the company’s market-share lead in maritime VSAT service, the company announced last week.
KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband service has steadily grown in both geographic coverage and network capacity to become the world's largest Ku-band maritime VSAT network, KVH said. In 2013, the network delivered 370 terabytes of data and 23 million voice minutes to vessels traveling the world’s major shipping routes, fleets in remote fishing grounds, offshore supply vessels in major oil and gas regions, Coast Guard cutters patrolling the U.S. coastline, and luxury yachts on coastal and offshore voyages.
“KVH has a unique approach in the satellite communications industry because we offer a true end-to-end solution,” said Martin Kits van Heyningen, CEO of KVH. “We not only design and manufacture our own antenna hardware, we also operate the satellite network, manage the airtime service and provide around-the-clock global support. Whether it is an IT manager in charge of a major international fleet or a captain in charge of a charter yacht, the single-source approach we offer is invaluable when combined with the performance of our antenna systems and the reliability of our network.”
The mini-VSAT Broadband network’s growth has been spurred in part by increased demand for broadband on commercial vessels, KVH said, where more and more operational procedures require an Internet connection, whether to comply with maritime regulations, maintain communications with fleet headquarters, remotely monitor vessel systems, or access weather and navigational information.
Crew members on commercial vessels and individuals on private yachts also rely on Internet access and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to surf the web and stay in touch with friends and family on land.
KVH more than doubled the capacity of the mini-VSAT Broadband network last year by deploying technology provided by ViaSat Inc., which enables the network to handle transmissions more efficiently and increases the amount of data that can be carried over the network. The mini-VSAT Broadband network uses a combination of 19 Ku-band transponders and 3 C-band beams to provide total global coverage.
Recent enhancements to the mini-VSAT Broadband network together with the onboard network management capabilities of the TracPhone V-IP system, will play a key role in KVH’s recently announced IP-MobileCast delivery service, expected to be available later this year. The service will deliver news, entertainment, sports and training content directly to subscribing vessels over the top of the mini-VSAT Broadband connection using a separate data stream and idle network bandwidth so that content delivery will not affect a customer’s data plan or onboard data speed. IP-MobileCast will also deliver operational data such as electronic chart updates and weather information.