In a move recognizing the growing demand for enhanced data applications in the commercial shipping industry, V.Ships, the world’s largest independent ship manager serving a fleet of over 1,000 vessels, has selected the mini-VSAT Broadband service from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) as its preferred satellite communications solution. V.Ships intends to promote KVH’s TracPhone onboard terminals and theglobal mini-VSAT Broadband service to its customers through SeaCom Electronics Ltd., a fellow member of V.Group, V.Ships’ parent company.
“Connecting ships with onshore networks offers exciting new ways to bring ship and shore-based operations closer together, to improve efficiencies, to manage operating expenses, and in general make a better onboard life for officers and crew,” said Stephen MacFarlane, Information Systems Director at V.Ships. He stressed, “We plan to use the mini-VSAT Broadband network to deliver navigational, safety, and real time weather data, offer Internet café and VoIP calling to help further enhance crew morale, enable onshore technical experts to collaborate on repairs with their colleagues at sea, and to connect ships to onshore networks using ‘ShipSure’, our enterprise resource planning software developed by V.Ships.”
The mini-VSAT Broadband service is unique in that it uses ArcLight spread spectrum technology developed by KVH’s satellite technology partner ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT). The service offers a broad seamless web of multi-megabit service created by 14 Ku-band satellite transponders, and will soon cover 95% of the earth with overlayed coverage from three global C-band transponders. In most regions, vessels enjoy redundant coverage to assure robust connectivity. The spread spectrum technology enables use of antennas as small as 37 cm for the Ku-band service and as small as 1 meter for the combined C/Ku-band coverage. KVH is the only maritime VSAT provider to manufacture its own fully integrated onboard terminal, own and operate a global VSAT network, and provide worldwide 24/7/365 after-sale support.
“We have created a truly next generation maritime broadband system, designed from the ground up to deliver fast, high quality VSAT service on a global basis, covering 95% of the earth, including all of the world’s shipping lanes,” said Svend Larsen, Managing Director of KVH’s European operations. “Our spread spectrum technology is fast and reliable, and has very low latency, making it extremely well suited for running networked applications. We are delighted to be working with V.Ships, one of the world’s leading and most innovative ship management companies to bring next generation broadband services to their customers’ vessels.”
Installation and technical support for V.Ships’ customers will be handled by SeaCom Electronics Ltd., a leading supplier of communication, navigation, and entertainment solutions for the merchant fleet including the cruise, ferry, and yacht industries. SeaCom will distribute KVH TracPhone satellite communications systems and the mini-VSAT Broadband service, as well as KVH’sTracVision satellite TV systems. SeaCom will be supported by KVH’s key account manager, Niels Reuther, from the company’s EMEA headquarters in Denmark.
“We selected the KVH mini-VSAT Broadband service after evaluating its performance on more than a dozen of our managed vessels,” said Neil Sayce, Managing Director of SeaCom Electronics, Ltd. “The small, relatively lightweight antennas are much easier to place, do not require a crane, and can offer a greater choice in finding a clear location to minimize obstructions by the ship’s superstructure. Freight and installation costs are reduced and experience to date has shown the TracPhone V7 system is quicker and easier to install than traditional VSAT equipment. The standard fit would be the V7, but the options offered by the V3 and the new V11, providing global C/Ku-band service on a 1-meter antenna, make KVH an ideal partner to work with given the varied needs of a large, managed fleet.”
KVH and V.Ships are currently making presentations to V.Ships customers, introducing them to the advantages of the mini-VSAT Broadband service. Interested readers can find additional information on the KVH website at www.minivsat.com.